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Preview – Smoke Eaters host Centennials on Wednesday night

Following a weekend split in Prince George the Smoke Eaters return home for three straight home games that begins tonight against the Merritt Centennials.

Season series:

Nov. 10 Merritt at Trail 7:00 pm PST
Dec. 4 Trail at Merritt 7:00 pm PST
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 face the Centennials for the first time in almost a year, and the first time in an actual regular season game since February 2020. The Centennials came to Trail last year as part of the BCHL’s exhibition schedule, in what was a thrilling back and forth game that finished 7-6 in favour of the Smoke Eaters. The last time these teams played a BCHL regular season game Merritt won 7-5 on the final night of the 2019/2020 BCHL schedule. The Smoke Eaters can’t afford to overlook the Centennials tonight. With a 0-11-0 start to the year, the Cents have got to be playing some desperate hockey, and a desperate team can be dangerous. In terms of special teams the Smoke Eaters lead in every category over the Centennials. The Smoke Eaters powerplay sits 13th in the league at a very respectable 19.6%. The penalty kill sits eighth at 79.2%. Despite getting the 3-2 win on Saturday against the Spruce Kings the Smoke Eaters only had 13 shots on net, their will definitely be an emphasis on more shots tonight.

Smoke Eaters leading scores:

Disher (4-8-12)
Michaelis (7-3-10)
Hunter (3-7-10)
Lagerback (4-5-9)
Wolford (3-6-9)

The Merritt Centennials make their first of two trips to Cominco on the year, the next not until the second last weekend of the season. Before the Cents can start looking that far ahead on the schedule they need to focus on the here and now. One of the longest standing BCHL teams with a rich history the Centennials are in tough right now, with still plenty of games to be played a win could go a long way in helping turn their season around. From a Smoke Eater perspective goals haven’t always been easy to come by, that being said they could come in bunches tonight, with the Centennials goals allowed trending in the wrong direction. They’ve allowed 24 goals in their last three games while scoring just four.

Centennials leading scorer:

Zakall (3-5-8)
Dewitt (2-5-7)
Orchard (4-2-6)
Hungle (1-2-3)
Patella (1-2-3)

Puck drop is at 7pm tonight with pregame ceremonies for Remembrance Day also taking place prior to the game. Get your tickets at tickets.trailsmokeeaters.com. If you can’t make it out you can always catch the game on BCHLTV or listen on Mixlr.