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PREVIEW: Smoke Eaters Host Spruce Kings On Sunday Afternoon

The Trail Smoke Eaters return home for a Sunday afternoon matinee at Cominco, as they welcome in their opponents from the first round of last years playoffs, the Prince George Spruce Kings.

2020/21Extended Training Camp Schedule

Nov. 15 Prince George @ Trail 3:00 pm PST
Nov. 18 Merritt @ Trail 7:00 pm PST
Nov. 21 Trail @ Cranbrook 6:00 pm PST
Nov. 27 Trail @ Cranbrook 6:00 pm PST

Coming off their first shutout of the year and an overall dominant performance on Thursday night, the Smoke Eaters turn their attention to the Spruce Kings in another early season test. While the game in Merritt on Thursday provided a new test for the Smokies compared to the Bucks, today’s game against the Spruce Kings offers another unique challenge. Prince George will be coming in on the tail end of a 3-in-3, having played Friday and Saturday in Cranbrook where they split the games. The Smoke Eaters will have to expect a similar style of play to what they saw in the playoffs last year, a team that knows how to collapse and defend the lead, making the first goal all that more important. The Smoke Eaters are yet to win a game when trailing after the first or second periods this year, on the other side of that they are 5-0 when leading going to the third period. A very positive trend for the Smoke Eaters coaching staff. Another is the penalty kill through 8 games, as they sit first in the BCHL at 91%. The Smoke Eaters will look to build off a strong third period in Merritt and translate that to today’s game. A strong start could be the difference against a tired Spruce Kings team.

Smoke Eaters Leading Scorers:

Sweeney (2-6-8)
Michaud (3-3-6)
Schiavon (3-3-6)
Dafoe (4-1-5)
Disher (2-3-5)

For Alex Evin and his team, playing their style of game will be key to getting a result on the road today. The Spruce Kings split their weekend in Cranbrook, losing on Friday night 6-2 before playing a perfect, score early and then defend for the victory, as they won 2- over the Bucks while being outshot 39-14. Prince George is another team that has seen some big changes this offseason, as they’ve replaced many of their outgoing players with other BCHL experienced players. While the Smoke Eaters have the best penalty kill in the league the Spruce Kings sit right behind them at 90.4%, they’ll have to be at their best against a Trail powerplay that’s been heating up over the last few games. In their last four games the Smoke Eaters powerplay has gone 6/24, that’s a 25% success rate after struggling to get anything on the board through the first few games. It will be interesting to see who the Spruce Kings go with in net, given their number one goalie Aaron Trotter played Saturday afternoon in Cranbrook and faced 39 shots.

Spruce Kings leading Scorers:

Seaman (4-3-7)
Buono (2-5-7)
Cunningham (2-4-6)
Waite (3-1-4)
Torzsok (1-2-3)

Today’s game starts at 3pm and their are multiple ways to catch all the action. You can watch on BCHLTV (powered by HockeyTV) with the pregame show starting at 2:50pm with Ben Phillips and Rob Squires. Today’s game will also be on Shaw Spotlight for Shaw customers, the game will be on local channel 10 or for Shaw Blue Curve customers channel 105. As always you can listen for free on the Smoke Eaters Mixlr.