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With both teams donning retro jerseys for World Championship weekend, the Smoke Eaters are focused on four crucial points against the Vees.

Regular season verse Penticton:

September 6th @ Trail Memorial Arena 4-1L (BOXSCORE)

September 7th @ Trail Memorial Arena 7-1L (BOXSCORE)

October 23rd @ South Okanagan Event Centre 4-2 L (BOXSCORE)

November 6th @ South Okanagan Event Centre 4-1 W (BOXSCORE)

January 10th @ Trail Memorial Arena (7:00pm)

January 11th @ South Okanagan Event Centre (6:00pm)

The Smoke Eaters had an unexpected week off after Tuesday’s game against the Centennials was cancelled due to poor road conditions. Regardless the Smoke Eaters still find themselves on a four game win streak coming into the weekend home and home series with the Vees. It’s bound to be entertaining with the top six scorers in the BCHL in play. The Smoke Eaters hold the first three spots with Kent Johnson, Owen Ozar and Mike Colella atop the podium. The Vees then have the next three in Jay O’Brien, David Silye and Lukas Sillinger. Johnson is also riding an eight game point streak, while captain Philippe Lapointe has the longest active point streak at ten games. The Smoke Eaters have had to find new ways to win over their last four with all of them being comeback victories, with three of those seeing the Smokies trailing after the first period. The first goal in tonight’s game will be crucial with both teams hard to beat when they have the lead. The Smoke Eaters will try and frustrate the Vees as they did on November 6th where the Smokies earned a 4-1 win while having numerous odd man rushes. While the penalty kill will have to be sharp with the Vees power play now up to 20% on the year, a part of their game that had struggled despite their strong start.

Smoke Eaters Leading scorers

Johnson (29-47-76)
Ozar (19-31-50)
Colella (17-32-49)
Lapointe (15-25-40)
Ghirardosi (18-14-32)

The Penticton Vees come in winners of four in a row and points in 7 straight games with their lone blemish a 6-5 shootout loss to Cowichan before the Christmas break. They’ve continued to stay atop the interior division without their star piece in Jay O’Brien who’s missed the last ten games due to a lower body injury. Coming off a 3-1 win on Wednesday night over the Langley Rivermen sees the Vees at 64 points, and a playoff position now guaranteed, as the Vees and the Express clinched spots over the last two weeks. With O’Brien out the likes of Silye and Sillinger lead the way with Jackson Niedermayer coming off a Player of the Week performance with five goals and an assist in three games. They also get a lot of help from the back end with rookie Connor Hutchinson, who is 7th among defenceman in scoring, sits at 29 points with 13 of those on the power play. He’ll be one of the guys relied on with Cade Webber going down with a season ending injury. The Vees are yet to lose a game this year when leading after two periods. which makes playing with the lead that much more important.

Vees leading scorers:

O’Brien (15-32-47)
Silye (16-30-46)
Sillinger (16-29-45)
Weight (17-26-43)
Niedermayer (16-16-32)

Join us tonight at Cominco Arena as the Smoke Eaters host the Penticton Vees in the first half of a home and home series between the top two teams in the Interior division. As always you can catch the game starting at 6:50pm on HockeyTV or Mixlr with Ben Phillips.