The Smoke Eaters are set to kick off their exhibition schedule with a double header south of the border against the Wenatchee Wild, starting tonight at the Town Toyota Centre.
The Smoke Eaters come into the exhibition schedule with a new look and new aspirations for the season ahead. 13 players were recruited during the off season to replace those graduating and those moving on to college hockey. The Smoke Eaters will take 28 with them down to Wenatchee, meaning roster spots are still up for grabs despite a strong recruiting class by Tim Fragle and the Smoke Eaters coaching staff. With it being the first game outside of the inter squad games through main camp there will be a feeling out process as many of the new players adjust to the BCHL and to the Smoke Eaters. The Smoke Eaters also bring three goaltenders with them in Cole Tisdale, Teagan Kendrick and Aidan Fisher who will all likely see game time this weekend.
The Wild are bound to provide a solid test early on for the Smoke Eaters, with the Wild returning much of their core from last year that was amongst the youngest teams in the BCHL. As Chris Clark, Wenatchee head coach gears up for another season behind the Wild bench he brings in a team that will have learnt from last season and what it takes to be successful at the BCHL level, while retooling and adding to his squad. While it might only be a preseason game, there are plenty of players on either side that will be familiar with each other, and like the Smoke Eaters there will be players fighting for jobs on the Wild’s roster, it’s bound to make for a good pair of games with a quick turnaround on Saturday to play at 4pm.
Tonight’s game at the Town Toyota Centre will not be available on HockeyTV however fans can listen to the game HERE on the Smoke Eaters Mixlr feed with Ben Phillips starting 10 minutes prior to puck drop. Or stay tuned to the Smoke Eaters Facebook page where we will be attempting to stream the game live from there. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm as the Smoke Eaters hit the ice for the first time as they take on the Wild.