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GAME PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Conclude Island Trip With A Visit To Nanaimo

PHOTO: Mike Hockley

The Trail Smoke Eaters conclude their three-game Island road trip as they face-off against the Nanaimo Clippers for the first time this season on Sunday afternoon at Frank Crane Arena.

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Smoke Eaters vs. Clippers 2018/19 Schedule:

Sunday, October 7th @ Frank Crane Arena (2:00 PM)

Friday, January 11th @ Trail Memorial Centre (7:00 PM)

The Smoke Eaters and Clippers split their season series during the 2017/18 campaign with each of the road teams earning victories. Trail scored a 4-3 double overtime win at Frank Crane Arena in early November with Trevor Zins scoring his first BCHL goal as well as the OT winner. The Clippers extracted their revenge in mid-December, taking a 7-3 decision over the Smoke Eaters at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Trail comes into Sunday’s afternoon affair looking to get back in the win column after a 4-3 overtime setback to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday night at the Alberni Valley Multiplex. Tyler Ghirardosi, Carter Jones and Trevor Zins scored in regulation, with Zins goal coming with 30 seconds remaining in the game to force overtime. Tanner Marshall was exceptional in the Trail net, turning aside 43 of the 47 shots he faced in the game in his second loss of the season.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:

Braeden Tuck (6-7-13)

Carter Jones (3-8-11)

Trevor Zins (3-6-9)

Levi Glasman (3-5-8)

Jeremy Smith (3-5-8)

With his goal on Saturday night, Carter Jones extended his point streak to four games and now sits second in team scoring with 11 points. The Hillyard, Washington native is starting to find his stride offensively with goals in back-to-back games and has multi-point games in each of his last three contests.

After an impressive start from Tanner Marshall on Saturday night, making 43 saves in Alberni Valley, the Smoke Eaters will go back to 20-year-old Adam Marcoux in net for this afternoon’s contest. The Calgary, Alberta native was excellent on Friday night in Powell River, making 31 saves on 32 shots and looks to win back-to-back games for the first time since early in September.

Trail comes into Nanaimo looking to pick up their third straight victory at the Frank Crane Arena after last season’s double overtime victory and another overtime win in this building during the 2016/17 season. Former Smoke Eater Josh Laframboise joined Zins with overtime winners in Nanaimo as Trail looks to add another win in the Harbour City to close out their weekend.

The Nanaimo Clippers have been waiting for this game, having not played a game since last Saturday against the Powell River Kings which saw the visitors skate away with a 5-2 win at the Frank Crane Arena. Gunnar Wegleitner and Kyler Kovich scored the goals for Nanaimo in the defeat while Landon Pavlisin made 32 saves on 37 shot in the loss.

Clippers Leading Scorers:

Ethan Scardina (3-4-7)

Joshua Bourne (2-4-6)

MacKenzie Merriman (3-2-5)

Aiden Hansen-Bukata (2-3-5)

Marcus Mitchell (2-2-4)

The Clippers have made a plentiful of roster moves over the course of the first month of the season, playing with just Joshua Bourne as the lone returning member from last year’s Clippers team. Marcus Mitchell was acquired by the Clippers in the offseason from the Penticton Vees and was named team captain ahead of the new season.

Included in those offseason trades was the acquisition of forward Ethan Scardina from the Cowichan Valley Capitals and has made a big impact on the Clippers. The White Rock, BC native is the Clippers leading scorer with three goals and four assists for nine points after a solid rookie season in the league with 14 goals and 26 points with the Caps. Scardina has earned points in 6 of the Clippers 9 games so far this season.

This afternoon’s game marks the end of a four-game home stand for the Clippers at Frank Crane Arena, having lost their last four contests. Nanaimo is 1-4-0-0 on home ice this season and have dropped their last four games at home with their only victory coming against the Cowichan Valley Capitals in the first game of the season.

The Smoke Eaters and Clippers drop the puck at 2:00 PM from the Frank Crane Arena with the pre-game show airing at 1:50 PM on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller. The Smoke Eaters return back home for a pair of games next weekend beginning on Friday, October 12th as they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals.