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Preview – Smoke Eaters Aim To Repeat Against The Spruce Kings

It’s part two of three on the weekend triple header as the Smoke Eaters look to replicate Friday nights win over the Spruce Kings and take the second game in a row over their Interior Conference rivals.

Season Series versus Prince George

Nov. 5 Trail 3 at Prince George 5 Final
Nov. 6 Trail 3 at Prince George 2 Final
Jan. 21 Prince George 4 at Trail 5 Final SO
Jan. 22 Prince George at Trail 7:00 pm PST
Jan. 23 Prince George at Trail 6:00 pm PST

It felt like a playoff game on Friday night inside Cominco as the Smoke Eaters completed the comeback and forced the game to a shootout. The Smoke Eaters started well but found themselves in a 3-0 deficit within a matter of minutes. If they have one negative take away it will be that. Because again the Smoke Eaters played well enough to at least have one on the board before Prince George fired three into the Smoke Eaters net. But a late goal in the first from Brady Hunter helped change their fortunes as they turned the game around. While Hunter and Tisdale will get many of the accolades for the comeback, there are many players that deserved recognition, whether it was a chance created, a blocked shot or a strong shift in the offensive zone the credit of Friday night’s victory will be felt throughout the entire team. The penalty kill which went 5/5 including a huge 5-on-3 kill in overtime will need to be on its game again tonight. The powerplay went 2/6 for the Smoke Eaters which was also a big turning point, as winning the special team battle proved pivotal in the overall outcome. The Smoke Eaters get some help tonight in the way of Corey Cunningham who is available again following his two game suspension.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Hunter (14-22-36)
Michaelis (18-12-30)
Lagerback (16-12-28)
Disher (8-15-23)
Cunningham (6-16-22)

The loss on Friday night will be one the Spruce Kings will quickly want to forget and avenge on Saturday night. For them the quick turn around allows them that opportunity to even out the three game weekend set at 1-1 going into Sunday. The Spruce Kings held frim in the early parts of the game and were rewarded with a pair of bounces and forcing turnovers in the the Smoke Eaters zone. Most nights when you jump out to a 3-0 lead, or score four goals it’s enough to win a hockey game, but the Smoke Eaters found a way back and at times had the Spruce Kings on their heels. It wasn’t that Prince George switched off at any point on Friday night, every time they got out of their own end they looked dangerous off the rush, but as the game went on they weren’t capitalizing on their chances nor where there as many of those chances they had early in the game. The missed opportunities in overtime also sting given the odd man rush and the 5-on-3 powerplay late. Still the Spruce Kings earned a point and extended their point streak to 8 straight games going 5-2-1-2 in their last ten games.

Spruce Kings leading scorers:

Herrington (17-19-36)
Rheaume (18-16-34)
Labelle (8-24-32)
Miller (14-14-28)
Cousins (12-9-21)

The Smoke Eaters and Spruce Kings hit the ice for round two tonight at 7pm, with the Smoke Eaters looking for back to back wins for the first time in 2022 and the Spruce Kings looking to avenge Friday nights defeat. Don’t miss out, get your tickets at tickets.trailsmokeeaters.com or at the box office which opens at 6pm. Tonight’s game, as always, will be broadcasted on BCHLTV and on the Smoke Eaters Mixlr.com, where the fans can tune in for free. Pregame show starts at 6:50pm with Smoke Eater broadcaster Ben Phillips.