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Preview – Smoke Eaters hit the road to face Centennials

The Smoke Eaters hit the road for a two games this weekend, kicking off the trip with a visit to Nicola Valley Memorial Arena to take on the Merritt Centennials on Friday night.

Season series versus Merritt:

Nov. 10 Merritt 1 at Trail 2 Final
Dec. 4 Trail 9 at Merritt 2 Final
Jan. 28 Trail at Merritt 7:00 pm PST
Feb. 19 Trail at Merritt 7:00 pm PST
Mar. 12 Merritt at Trail 7:00 pm PST

The Smoke Eaters come into the weekend 15-14-1-1 after getting 4 of 6 points on the weekend against the Prince George Spruce Kings. Since the deadline the Smoke Eaters are 3-2-0-1 with points in four of their last six. Now with two games to end out the month of January the Smoke Eaters have another opportunity to pick up four valuable points. But that starts tonight by not overlooking their opponent in the Centennials, who despite their record have been in many of their games right to the bitter end, The Smoke Eaters will get a boost this weekend with both Disher and Moger back from their NCAA School visits. They also could get Zach Michaelis back who continued to have a positive week of practice for the Smoke Eaters. The last time the Smoke Eaters were in Merritt they ran away with the game scoring six goals in the second period, backed by a Teddy Lagerback hat-trick, to win the game 9-2.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Hunter (14-23-37)
Michaelis (18-12-30)
Lagerback (16-13-29)
Disher (8-16-24)
Cunningham (6-17-23)

The Centennials record isn’t a pretty one, as the team continues to transition and rebuild it’s self for the future. That was the goal at the trade deadline for newly minted head coach and general manager Curtis Toneff, get young assets and build for the future. despite some lopsided results in the last handful of games the Centennials have also given teams like the Salmon Arm Silverbacks a bit of a scare. The Cents were either leading or within one goal for much of their two games against Salmon Arm in the last week, but had the game slip out of reach in the third. They did however take the Vernon Vipers to a shootout, snapping a run of six games without any points. Merritt is 1-8-0-1 in their last ten games and have allowed 57 goals against. The Centennials two wins this season have both come on home ice.

Centennials leading scorers:

Orchard (8-7-15)
Carter (3-12-15)
Ward (7-7-14)
Mulrenin (9-4-13)
Allen (1-11-12)

It’s the first of two on the road for the Smoke Eaters as they try to get back in the win column as they take in the Merritt Centennials. Puck drop is at 7pm from Merritt, as always catch the game on BCHLTV or listen on the Smoke Eaters Mixlr with the pre game show starts at 6:50pm.