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PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Back In Action With A Tilt Against The Vees

After a few days off the Smoke Eaters begin the final stretch of the season with three games in four nights that starts with the Penticton Vees, who are coming off a 1-0 shootout loss to the Cranbrook Bucks on Wednesday night.

 

Season Series Verse Penticton

Apr. 2 Penticton @ Trail 4-1 L
Apr. 8 Trail @ Penticton 6-0 L 
Apr. 11 Penticton @ Trail 6-1 L
Apr. 14 Trail @ Penticton 3-2 W
Apr. 17 Penticton @ Trail 3-0 L
Apr. 23 Trail @ Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
Apr. 26 Trail @ Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
Apr. 29 Trail @ Penticton 7:00 pm PDT
May. 2 Penticton @ Trail 4:00 pm PDT
May. 8 Penticton @ Trail 6:00 pm PDT

The Smoke Eaters come in hopefully well rested and healed up after getting three days off between games, a rarity in this condensed BCHL season. The team is coming off another strong week where they went 3-1, with two wins over the Bucks and one over the Vees. Their most recent win was the 5-3 win on Monday night against Cranbrook that was spurred on by a strong second period, where the Smokies scored four unanswered after allowing the first two goals of the period. Quinn Disher, Kalen Szeto and Noah Wakeford have been the driving force for the Smoke Eaters with Disher and Wakeford tied for the team lead in points at 10. From the back end Helliwell continues to help drive the play even from his defensive position, making the Smoke Eaters that much more dangerous and giving them more options going forward as the secondary scoring outside the Szeto, Wakeford and Disher line starts to come to life. Special teams has played a part in most of the games between the Smoke Eaters and the Vees so far and the Smoke Eaters need to be wary of that. While the powerplay seems to be off and running after going 2/3 on Monday, they’ll be up against a Vees penalty kill that has allowed just one goal and is ranked first in the league at 97%.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers

Disher (6-4-10)
Wakeford (4-6-10)
Helliwell (3-6-9)
Szeto (2-5-7)
Hunter (3-3-6)

The Vees will be looking to avenge Wednesday night’s loss to the Bucks, where for the first time this season they were unable to score on the opposing net (shootout exempt). It was also a game where the Vees were limited to just 22 shots and only out shot the Bucks by 1 despite a third period push. With the weapons the Vees have available to them it’ll be hard to keep them quiet for long. Kaeden Lane has been the standout for the the Vees so far with three shutouts an impressive 1.25 GAA and a 0.944 SV%. The Vees will get some help back in the lineup as Stefano Bottini returns from a three game suspension while Ryan McGuire is still out following his three game suspension for this hit on Jordan Hendry last Saturday. They also get help as Devlin O’Brien returned after he was injured on opening night against the Smoke Eaters after and awkward fall into the boards. The Vees who are now 9-1-0-1 will be looking to pick up win number ten on the year as they take on the Smoke Eaters for the first of two games this weekend.

Vees leading scorers

Wilson (10-7-17)
Malmquist (4-9-13)
Quillan (6-6-12)
Upson (5-7-12)
Williams (2-7-9)

Tonight’s game gets going at 7pm from the South Okanagan Event Centre with the pre-game show starting at 6:50pm on BCHLTV, Shaw Spotlight and on Mixlr with Ben Phillips. It’s the first of three on the weekend for the Smoke Eaters who are looking to get it started the right way.