Alberni Valley Bulldogs Chilliwack Chiefs Coquitlam Express Cowichan Capitals Cranbrook Bucks Langley Rivermen Merritt Centennials Nanaimo Clippers Penticton Vees Powell River Kings Prince George Spruce Kings Salmon Arm Silverbacks Surrey Eagles Trail Smoke Eaters Vernon Vipers Victoria Grizzlies Wenatchee Wild West Kelowna Warriors
Team Sites
Follow the BCHL

Preview – Smoke Eaters begin round one against Penticton

It’s finally here, playoffs. The Smoke Eaters kick off the BCHL Playoffs against the top team in the regular season the Penticton Vees in a 1 vs 8 Interior conference match up that begins tonight in Penticton.

Playoff Series

Game 1 – Mar 31 Trail at Penticton 7:00 PM PDT
Game 2 – Apr 1 Trail at Penticton 7:00 PM PDT
Game 3 – Apr 4 Penticton at Trail 7:00 PM PDT
Game 4 –  Apr 5 Penticton at Trail 7:00 PM PDT
* Game 5 –  Apr 7 Trail at Penticton 7:00 PM PDT
* Game 6 –  Apr 9 Penticton at Trail 7:00 PM PDT
* Game 7  – Apr 11 Trail at Penticton 7:00 PM PDT

It’s a new season as the Smoke Eaters get set to take on the Vees in the Interior Conference Quarter Finals. The Vees come in as regular season champions and the team to beat finishing the year with 89 points. The Smoke Eaters ended their regular season on a high getting a 7-5 win over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks and playing much better than the score line suggested. While the stats show the Vees have won all five meetings during the regular season they don’t tell the whole story. Two games were lopsided and not in the Smoke Eaters favour, games they’ll have forgotten about by now. The other three were a closer representation to how this series might go. The Smoke Eaters took the Vees to overtime twice. Once in October and again back in Trail in February.

Both games were there for the Smoke Eaters to take, while the last one, a 6-3 Vees decision in Trail saw the Vees climb out of an early hole, being down 2-0 and 3-1 before exploding in the third for three goals for the win. There’s no denying the Vees offensive ability, and while the Smoke Eaters have some lethal scorers as well, based on the regular season the edge in this series would have to be given to Penticton. Special teams are likely to play a defining role in this series as well. The Smoke Eaters have caught the Vees shorthanded once courtesy of Ridge Dawson, while having a handful of other opportunities as well over the course of the year. The Vees play aggressively on the powerplay, while finishing the regular season with the second ranked powerplay, they also finished tied for second among playoff teams in shorthanded goals allowed with 9. The Smoke Eaters had 7 this season.

Regular season leading scorers

Smoke Eaters – 20-29-2-2 — 45 points

Hunter (21-35-56)
Michaelis (28-24-52)
Lagerback (25-24-49)
Disher (14-27-41)
Wolford (12-20-32)

Powerplay – 22.5% (8th)

Penalty Kill – 76.2% (14th)

Vees – 43-8-1-2 — 89 points

Wilson (29-46-75)
Nadeau (40-32-72)
Nadeau (20-26-46)
Moravec (22-19-41)
McDonald (20-17-37)

Powerplay – 25.3% (2nd)

Penalty Kill – 84.6% (2nd)

It’s game one of the BCHL Playoffs as the Smoke Eaters begin their quest for the Fred Page cup. Puck drop for game one is at 7pm from the South Okanagan Event Centre. Catch the game with Smoke Eaters broadcaster Ben Phillips on BCHLTV or listen for free on Mixlr.com.