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Preview – Smoke Eaters host Bulldogs in lone meeting of the year

The Smoke Eaters welcome in the Alberni Valley Bulldogs for their lone meeting of the year, with both teams having just one loss in their last six games.

Last 5 Years record between teams – Trail 4-1-1-0 – Alberni Valley 2-4-0-0
Trail vs. Alberni Valley Last 5 Years record at Trail – Trail 3-0-0-0 – Alberni Valley 0-3-0-0

The Smoke Eaters come in off the back of a 2-1 win on Wednesday night over the Merritt Centennials, the win pushed the Smoke Eaters to just one loss in their last six games, going 5-1-0 over that time. While the score was misleading to how the Smoke Eaters really played that night, with 43 shots on net the Smoke Eaters probably deserved to put up 4 or 5 goals heading to the third, given the amount of offensive zone time and puck possession they had. Regardless, some strong goaltending, and some missed chances, made the game a lot closer than the Smoke Eaters would have wanted. But again, in another one goal game the Smoke Eaters showed resilience and poise to once again see the game out and earn the two points. Tonight however they’ll need to be at their best with another hot goaltender backing up the Bulldogs.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Disher (4-9-13)
Michaelis (8-3-11)
Hunter (3-8-11)
Lagerback (4-6-10)
Wolford (3-6-9) 

The Bulldogs come to town in the midst of a Kootenay swing that they’re looking to take all four points from. Coming off a 5-2 win last night in Cranbrook the Bulldogs are not a team to be taken lightly. Over their last six games the Bulldogs have just one overtime loss, and that came on Wednesday night to the Penticton Vees. The Bulldogs are undefeated in regulation in their last six and have allowed just four goals in their last five. Goaltender Hobie Hedquist is coming off a fantastic stretch of hockey where he had three consecutive shutouts and has allowed just two goals in his last four starts. Stepping away from the net the Bulldogs are led by North Vancouver native Brandon Buhr who leads the Bulldogs with six goals and nine assists. After some high scoring games to start the year the Bulldogs have started to shut the door defensively, that of course helps when your netminder puts together three straight shutouts. With Jackson Glassford playing last night in Cranbrook the odds are that the Bulldogs will go back with Hedquist tonight in Trail.

Bulldogs leading scorers:

Buhr (6-9-15)
Castagna (2-11-13)
Zary (6-6-12)
Van Unen (6-3-9)
Brown (7-1-8)

Puck drop for this one goes tonight at 7pm at the Trail Memorial Centre, limited tickets are available. If you can’t make it to the game catch all the action online on BCHLTV or listen free on Mixlr.com starting at 6:50pm with Ben Phillips.