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The Trail Smoke Eaters return home with 8 games left in the regular season schedule to host the Prince George Spruce Kings, a potential first round matchup, as the Spruce Kings make their one and only visit to Cominco this season.

Regular Season verse Prince George:

September 28th @ Rolling Mix Concrete Arena 3-0 W (BOXSCORE)

October 5th @ South Okanagan Event Centre 7-4 W (BOXSCORE)

January 29th @ Cominco Arena 7pm

The Smoke Eaters are coming off a weekend in Wenatchee where they picked up three out of four points against the Wild, as they fell 2-1 in a shootout on Saturday night. Owen Ozar had the Smoke Eaters lone goal on the night, as it took nine rounds of the shootout to break the deadlock. The Smoke Eaters now return home for the next three games starting tonight against the Spruce Kings. Not seen since the BCHL Showcase, the Smoke Eaters are 2-0 against Prince George this year. The Smoke Eaters beat the Spruce Kings twice within a week. They picked up a 3-0 win on September 28th in Prince George, the only time the Smoke Eaters have shut a team out this season, and a 7-4 win on October 5th at the showcase. It’s also a potential first round matchup in the making with less than a month of hockey to be played. As it sits right now the Smoke Eaters would line up against the Kings as the second wild card spot if playoffs started today. But still a lot of movement among the bottom three teams in Victoria, West Kelowna and Prince George with just five points separating the three. 

Last ten games 8-1-0-1

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Johnson (35-50-85)
Ozar (21-37-58)
Colella (20-35-55)
Lapointe (17-28-45)
DiMurro (6-27-33)

The Spruce Kings currently have some say in how their first round will go. As one of the two wild card teams crossing over into the Interior division, the Spruce Kings have two games in hand over Victoria to try and finish in the first wild card spot. That would earn them the sixth seed in the Interior. Last years BCHL and Doyle Cup champs have had a mixed season. While they picked up some big wins in the last few weeks against division foes Langley and Coquitlam, they’ve since dropped their last two against Surrey and Chilliwack. The Kings lost a big part of their offence prior to the Christmas break with assistant captain Chong Min Lee needing season ending surgery. Lee was operating at a point per game prior to the injury, production that’s not easy to replace. The Spruce Kings sit tied for the least amount of goals scored with a 128, while they average 3.51 goals against per game. The Spruce Kings penalty kill will need to be at its best as it goes up against the Smoke Eaters 3rd ranked power play. Prince George however are the least penalized team in the BCHL with just 171 penalties taken, well below the league average of 205.

Last ten games: 5-5-0

Spruce Kings leading scores:

Poisson (19-24-43)
Cunningham (18-17-35)
Welsh (13-21-34)
Brodziak (15-16-31)
Williams (10-16-26)

Join us as the Smoke Eaters look to extend their point streak to six games. Puck drop is at 7pm against the Prince George Spruce Kings. As always you can catch the game starting at 6:50pm on HockeyTV or Mixlr with Ben Phillips and Rob Squires.