PHOTO: Mike Hockley
The Trail Smoke Eaters have a chance to punch their ticket to the Interior Division Final as they face-off against the Vernon Vipers in Game #7 of the Interior Division Semi Final on Monday night at Kal Tire Place.
Smoke Eaters vs. Vipers 2018/19 Regular Season Schedule:
Saturday, September 15th @ Kal Tire Place (3-1 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, October 17th @ Kal Tire Place (4-0 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, November 14th @ Trail Memorial Centre (3-2 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Saturday, November 24th @ Kal Tire Place (1-0 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Wednesday, December 12th @ Trail Memorial Centre (3-2 Vipers/OT) (BOXSCORE)
Friday, February 1st @ Trail Memorial Centre (6-3 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Interior Division Semi Final Schedule:
Game #1: Friday, March 15th @ Kal Tire Place (3-1 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Game #2: Saturday, March 16th @ Kal Tire Place (5-4 Smoke Eaters/OT) (BOXSCORE)
Game #3: Tuesday, March 19th @ Trail Memorial Centre (4-3 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Game #4: Wednesday, March 20th @ Trail Memorial Centre (3-2 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Game #5: Friday, March 22nd @ Kal Tire Place (5-2 Vipers) (BOXSCORE)
Game #6: Saturday, March 23rd @ Trail Memorial Centre (5-2 Smoke Eaters) (BOXSCORE)
Game #7: Monday, March 25th @ Kal Tire Place (7:00 PM)
The Smoke Eaters staved off elimination and forced a Game #7 after a 5-2 victory in Game #6 of the Interior Division Semi Final against the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre. Mack Byers scored a pair of goals in the game while Hayden Rowan, Kent Johnson and Owen Ozar added singles in the win to extend the Smoke Eaters season. Adam Marcoux was outstanding between the pipes, turning aside 46 of the 48 shots he faced in his 1st start of the playoffs for his 10th career postseason win.
Smoke Eaters Regular Season Leading Scorers:
Carter Jones (17-38-55)
Chase Stevenson (19-34-53)
Kent Johnson (20-26-46)
Trevor Zins (12-34-46)
Braeden Tuck (15-28-43)
Smoke Eaters Playoff Scoring Leaders:
Carter Jones (6-6-12)
Kent Johnson (7-4-11)
Braeden Tuck (4-6-10)
Tyler Ghirardosi (2-8-10)
Mack Byers (5-4-9)
The Smoke Eaters are playing in their second Game #7 in as many years after defeating the Penticton Vees by a 4-2 score in 2018 in the Interior Division Semi Final to advance to the Division Championship. Monday night will mark the 4th time Trail has played in a Game #7 in the last 15 years, holding a record of 2-1 in those games. The Smoke Eaters defeated the Merritt Centennials back in 2007 before falling in 2011 to the West Kelowna Warrior, playing all of those Game #7’s on the road.
What a return to the crease it was for 20-year-old Adam Marcoux, making his first start since February 8th and showed no signs of rust. The Calgary, Alberta native turned aside 46 of the 48 shots he faced in Game #6 to extend the Smoke Eaters season as well as his Junior ‘A’ career. Marcoux earned his 10th career playoff victory with the win in net, improving his postseason numbers to a 3.38 GAA and a .896 SV%.
Smoke Eaters forward Owen Ozar continues to impress in his first postseason in Junior ‘A’ hockey as he sits 6th in scoring amongst rookies in the playoffs. The Prince Albert, Saskatchewan native has 8 points in 11 games for Trail including scoring in Game #6 on Saturday night. Ozar has collected points in four of his last five games, registering 3 goals and 3 assists for 6 points in that span.
The Vernon Vipers face elimination for the first time in the playoffs after a 5-2 loss to the Smoke Eaters in Game #6 on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre. Ben Sanderson and Michael Young scored the goals for the Vipers while Aidan Porter stopped 24 of the 29 shots he faced in the contest in his 4th loss of the playoffs.
Vipers Regular Season Leading Scorers:
Matt Kowalski (13-30-43)
Teddy Wooding (21-19-40)
Josh Latta (19-21-40)
Connor Marritt (13-27-40)
Jack Judson (7-26-33)
Vipers Playoff Scoring Leaders:
Jagger Williamson (3-9-12)
Jesse Lansdell (4-6-10)
Matt Kowalski (5-3-8)
Jack Judson (3-5-8)
Michael Young (3-5-8)
The Vipers have been involved in many Game #7’s in their long history, having played in six of them in the last 15 years. The last Game #7 Vernon played was in 2017 during the Interior Division Final, falling by a 3-1 score to the Penticton Vees. The Vipers hold a record of 3-3 in those six games with current players Jesse Lansdell and Jagger Williamson being the only players in the lineup who played in the last Game #7 for Vernon.
Secondary scoring has been a big key for the Vipers through the series and forward Ben Sanderson has chipped in with that. The Calgary, Alberta native has posted three goals and three assists for six points in the playoffs thus far but rides a three-game point streak into Monday night’s contest. The Colorado College commit has scored a goal while adding a pair of assists for three points in that trio of games including scoring the Vipers first goal on Saturday night in the 2nd period.
The penalty kill for the Vipers has been terrific through the postseason, entering Monday night ranking 2nd in the league at 87.5%, killing off 35 of the 40 penalties taken in 11 games. Vernon has surrendered the most penalty minutes on home ice this playoff season, posting 69 PIMs in 6 games at Kal Tire Place with the PK ranking 7th in the league on home ice, going 18-for-21 in that stretch.
The Smoke Eaters and Vipers will drop the puck on Game #7 at Kal Tire Place at 7:00 PM with a FREE live stream of the game available at mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as on pay-per-view at HockeyTV.com beginning at 6:45 PM with the Teck Trail Operations Pre-Game Report with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.