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PREVIEW – RD1GM1 – Smoke Eaters Look To Set The Tone In Game One Against Penticton

The BCHL Playoffs kick off on Friday night as the Smoke Eaters get set for a first round rematch against the Penticton Vees at the SOEC.

Round 1 Playoff Schedule

GM1: Mar. 31 at Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
GM2: Apr. 1 at Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
GM3: Apr. 4 Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
GM4: Apr. 5 Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
*GM5: Apr. 7 at Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
*GM6: Apr. 9 Penticton 5:00 pm PDT
*GM7: Apr. 11 at Penticton 7:00 pm PDT

The Smoke Eaters head into the lion’s den of the BCHL as they get set for their first round rematch against the Penticton Vees. The Smoke Eaters will have to embrace their role as the underdog, as they battle the Vees who finished the season 50-3-0-1. As they have for what seems like the last two months, head into battle short of their potential lineup with injuries carrying over from the regular season. The Smoke Eaters know that special teams could very well decide this series. It was exactly a year ago today that the Smoke Eaters took game one of their series against the Vees, winning 5-3 and going 3/4 on the penalty kill. The Vees powerplay has only gotten more lethal this season and so staying out of the box and killing those penalties will be crucial. The Smoke Eaters are trending in the right direction as they head out of the regular season, with a 3-2-0-1 record in their final six games, putting up some solid performances in those games. The Smoke Eaters will look to kick off this series the same way they did last year, and that’s a game one win over the Vees.

The Vees sit atop the BCHL pedestal after the regular season and by all accounts are expected to repeat and defend their BCHL title after a record setting season. The Vees host a wide array of weapons, for the Nadeau brothers, who had 113 and 110 points each. If they weren’t enough of a threat Aydar Suniev put up 90 points on the Vees second line and finished third in league scoring. Luca Di Pasquo led the way from the crease this year for the Vees, going 36-3-0 and posting four shutouts. The Vees powerplay had the second most opportunities in the league this year at 225 attempts. On those attempts the Vees completed on 39% of those, leading to 88 goals. They were also the second least penalized team in the league. The Vees have the talent, as they have shown, to walk through anyone in the BCHL. But now the Smoke Eaters once again stand in their way. 

Regular season Head to Head

Trail Smoke Eaters Penticton Vees

Top Scorers

Hunter (18-44-62)
Cobetto-Roy (15-29-44)
Remissong (16-19-35)
Bushy (7-28-35)
Mann (13-20-33)

Season Series 0-4-0-1

PP% 20.5

PK% 77.5

Top Scorers

Nadeau (45-68-113)
Nadeau (44-66-110)
Suniev (45-45-90)
Moravec (29-28-57)
Hopkins (10-39-49)

Season Series 5-0-0-0

PP% 39.1

PK% 84.9

Puck drop for game one of the first round BCHL Playoff series between the Smoke Eaters and the Vees goes tonight at 7pm for the South Okanagan Events Centre. Catch all the action on HockeyTV or listen free on Mixlr, with the pregame report starting at 6:50pm.