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Preview – Smoke Eaters look for weekend sweep over Prince George

It’s the third night on the weekend tripleheader and the Smoke Eaters come in winners of the first two thanks to Teddy Lagerback’s shootout winners.

Season Series versus Prince George

Nov. 5 Trail 3 at Prince George 5 Final
Nov. 6 Trail 3 at Prince George 2 Final
Jan. 21 Prince George 4 at Trail 5 Final SO
Jan. 22 Prince George 2 at Trail 3 Final SO
Jan. 23 Prince George at Trail 6:00 pm PST

It took another shootout, thanks to a late Rowan Miller equalizer, for the Smoke Eaters to beat the Spruce Kings and take the extra point on the night. The Smoke Eaters were tasked with playing with the lead, and after falling behind briefly in the second the Smoke Eaters took the lead and played 25 minutes with it. They looked composed and confident to see this game out, but the late goal on a delayed penalty saw the game to overtime and the shootout. The Smoke Eaters could have used the insurance goal but couldn’t find it in the third. That will be the task tonight again is play with the lead but more than a one goal lead. The Smoke Eaters once again won the special teams battle going 2/2 on the powerplay and only allowed 1 on the penalty kill while being short handed four times. Now the Smoke Eaters who have played short handed all weekend will be without two more players as Disher and Moger will be out tonight as they are on a NCAA School visit that was booked prior to Sunday’s rescheduled game.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Hunter (14-23-37)
Michaelis (18-12-30)
Lagerback (16-13-29)
Disher (8-16-24)
Cunningham (6-17-23) 

The Spruce Kings come into Sunday’s game and the back to two shootout losses, with both games slipping out of their grasp. Like the Smoke Eaters the Spruce Kings played a more composed and structured second game. Nick Rheaume was again the best player on the ice for the Spruce Kings but he’ll need some more help from the rest of the Prince George legion if the Spruce Kings want to head home with four of six points on the weekend. Despite two shootout losses the Spruce Kings have still picked up valuable points to stay in third place in the Interior Conference

Spruce Kings Leading scorers:

Herrington (17-21-38)
Rheaume (19-16-35)
Labelle (8-24-32)
Miller (15-14-29)
Cousins (12-10-22)

It’s the fourth game in five nights for both teams, and the third in a row. Both sides will have to dig deep tonight to pull out the win. Puck drop is 6pm from the Trail Memorial Centre, tickets are still available and can be bought online or at the door. As always the game will be broadcast on BCHLTV or on the Smoke Eaters, where the fans can tune in for free. Pregame show starts at 5:50pm with Smoke Eater broadcaster Ben Phillips.