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GAME PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Open Trip In Powell River

PHOTO: Alicia Baas/Powell River Kings

The Trail Smoke Eaters open up a three-game road trip on Vancouver Island this weekend, beginning against the Powell River Kings on Friday night at the Hap Parker Arena.

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Smoke Eaters vs. Kings 2018/19 Schedule:

Friday, September 21st @ Prospera Centre (2-1 Kings) (BOXSCORE)

Friday, October 5th @ Hap Parker Arena (7:00 PM)

Saturday, October 13th @ Trail Memorial Centre (7:00 PM)

The Smoke Eaters and Kings play the second of their three-game season series tonight with Powell River picking up the victory in the opening game of the set at the Bauer BCHL Showcase with a 2-1 win. Kent Johnson scored the lone goal for the Smoke Eaters, a power play in the first period that gave Trail the lead before the Kings struck for two 2nd period goals. Tanner Marshall was excellent in the game for the Smoke Eaters, turning aside 24 of the 26 shots thrown his way but suffered his first loss of the season.

Trail looks to work their way back into the win column tonight after suffering a 5-2 loss to the defending BCHL champion Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre. Mack Byers gave the Smoke Eaters the lead in the 1st period with a power play marker while Michael Hodge also tallied on the power play for Trail but it was not enough in the loss. Adam Marcoux stopped 22 of the 27 shots he faced in his 3rd loss of the season.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:

Braeden Tuck (4-8-12)

Levi Glasman (3-5-8)

Jeremy Smith (3-5-8)

Kent Johnson (4-3-7)

Trevor Zins (2-5-7)

The month of September was a good one for the Smoke Eaters, finishing with a 4-3-0-1 record with three of those victories coming against their own division and collecting points in four of their five divisional showdowns. Trail closed out the month tied for the BCHL’s 6th spot in scoring with 29 goals while allowing 27 goals against in their eight games this season.

Returning forward and Bemidji State University commit Carter Jones is starting to find his stride offensively as the Spokane, Washington native has collected three assists in his last two games after being held off the scoresheet in three previous games. Jones has earned a goal and six assists on the season for seven points and sits 6th in scoring on the team.

Some lineup changes for the Smoke Eaters sees 2000-born forward Michael Hagen make his BCHL debut tonight in Powell River. The 5’7”, 140-pound forward hails from Calgary, Alberta and is currently in his first season with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL). In eight games to start the season, Hagen has collected nine assists as well as 18 penalty minutes.

The Powell River Kings enter Friday night after back-to-back wins against the Nanaimo Clippers by a 5-2 score last Saturday before, most recently, a 4-1 victory over the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Wednesday night. Liam Lytton, Ben Berard, Ryan Brushett and Mitchell Williams picked up the goals while Hayden Missler earned his first BCHL win, turning aside 23 of the 24 shots he faced in the game.

Kings Leading Scorers:

Ryan Brushett (5-8-13)

Ben Berard (7-5-12)

Matt Fawcett (3-6-9)

Neal Samanski (2-7-9)

Mitchell Williams (4-3-7)

Ryan Brushett has fit right into the offense for the Kings since his arrival from the Surrey Eagles earlier this season, collecting points in each of his seven games this season. The Verdun, Quebec native leads Powell River in assists with 8 and points with 13 and is tied for 2nd in scoring in the BCHL, sitting three points behind the Eagles’ Ty Westgard.

The Kings have gotten off to a strong start in the early part of the 2018/19 season and doing most of their damage on home ice with a 4-0-0-0 record. Powell River has outscored their opponents by a 17-8 margin and have collected four or more goals in each of their four home games this season.

There may not be many power plays when these two teams take the ice as the Smoke Eaters and Kings have taken the lead amount of penalties in the BC Hockey League. Trail has taken the least penalties in the league, going to the penalty kill 23 times while Powell River has only gone to the PK 26 times, tied with the Penticton Vees for the second-least penalties in the BCHL.

The Smoke Eaters and Kings drop the puck at 7:00 PM on the beginning of the three-game Island trip at the Hap Parker Arena. The pre-game gets going at 6:50 PM on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.