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Preview – Smoke Eaters head East to face the Bucks

It isn’t the game that was originally scheduled for the Smoke Eaters but it’s a massive test nonetheless as they head to Cranbrook on Saturday night to take on Bucks.

Season Series verse Cranbrook:

Oct. 8 Trail 3 at Cranbrook 5 Final
Oct. 9 Cranbrook 1 at Trail 3 Final
Nov. 20 Trail at Cranbrook 7:00 pm MST
Dec. 1 Trail at Cranbrook 7:00 pm MST
Dec. 17 Cranbrook at Trail 7:00 pm PST
Dec. 18 Trail at Cranbrook 7:00 pm MST
Dec. 31 Trail at Cranbrook 7:00 pm MST
Jan. 1 Cranbrook at Trail 5:00 pm PST

While the Smoke Eaters had originally been scheduled for a grueling three in three with stops in Coquitlam, Nanaimo and Powell River, the flooding in BC has impacted that trip, instead they’ll face a task just as tough with the Bucks just as hot as the Smoke Eaters as of late. Coming off a 6-2 loss on Sunday the Smoke Eaters put more than enough pucks on the Victoria net to win that game. However the start of a the second period and two goals from Kalen Szeto proved too much for the Smoke Eaters to overcome. Despite the loss the Smoke Eaters still come into tonight’s game with a 7-3-0 record over their last ten games, the exact same record the Bucks have in their last ten as well. For the Smoke Eaters a grueling trip has turned into a single game grudge match early in the year. With the Bucks slightly ahead of the Smoke Eaters on point percentage and three more games against the Bucks between now and the Christams break, two points her from the Smoke Eaters can go a long way.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Disher (5-9-14)
Hunter (4-10-14)
Michaelis (9-4-13)
Lagerback (5-6-11)
Bushy (3-8-11)

As mentioned the Bucks come in with a 7-3-0 record over their last ten games and a 8-5-0 record overall. That has them sitting in fourth in the interior division. The Bucks though are coming off what might be their biggest win as a franchise so far, with back to back wins in Salmon Arm against the Silverbacks, who heading into the contests were the only undefeated team in regulation in the BCHL. That changed in a hurry with the Bucks beating Salmon Arm 4-0 on Saturday and 2-1 on the Sunday. Cranbrook was initially scheduled to play Chilliwack tonight, but in leu get their Kootenay rivals, followed up by the Penticton Vees who will play the Bucks on Sunday afternoon in Cranbrook. The same weight of this game applies for the Bucks, with a 1-1 record against Trail this season and are yet to lose on home ice to the Smoke Eaters either, these two points, with both teams so close in the standings will go a long way.

Bucks leading scorers:

Dyck (8-11-19)
Quinn (6-8-14)
Pfoh (4-8-12)
Johnson (8-3-11)
Hjartarson (4-5-9)

Puck drop in Cranbrook is set for 7PM Mountain Time, 6PM Pacific as the Smoke Eaters and Bucks reunite in a Kootenay clash. Catch the game with Smoke Eater broadcasted Ben Phillips starting at ten minutes prior to puck drop with the Teck Trail Pre-Game Report on BCHLTV or listen on mixlr.com