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Preview – Smoke Eaters Welcome Wenatchee

It’s been over 18 months since the Wenatchee Wild played a game in the BCHL, now after a long and patient wait they will finally hit the ice for their first of two preseason games north of the border.

PRESEASON SCHEDULE

Sep. 24 Cranbrook @ Trail – 5-3 L
Sep. 25 Trail @ Cranbrook – 3-1L
Sep. 30 Wenatchee @ Trail 7:00 pm PDT
Oct. 2 Cranbrook @ Trail 7:00 pm PDT
Oct. 4 National Women’s Team @ Trail 7:00 pm PDT (SOLD OUT)

The Smoke Eaters have had a week to reflect on their opening weekend of the preseason that say them drop both games to their rivals in the East, the Cranbrook Bucks, by scores of 5-3 and 3-1. The score line doesn’t, and usually never does, tell the whole story of how the games went and how the coaching staff felt about the performance. Following last Friday’s loss, head coach Tim Fragle said he was happy with 40/60 minutes his team had played. After Saturday, he could probably say the same thing as the Smoke Eaters controlled much of the play, lead in shots but couldn’t find more than one goal past Nathan Airey. Now after a full week of practice and a more defined roster the Smoke Eaters will look to make a statement showing their not only going to be ready for the regular season but Team Canada as well. The Smoke Eaters will have to be ready though, as they haven’t seen the Wenatchee Wild since early in 2020, and only Jaden Senkoe remains on the roster for when these two team’s played last.

The Wild will be chomping at the bit to hit the ice tonight. As mentioned its been 1 year, 6 months and 24 days since their last BCHL action, which was a 8-3 loss on home ice to the Vernon Vipers in round one of the BCHL playoffs. After having to sit out last season due to the Canada-US border closure the Wild are back with a new and reinvigorated roster. The Wild come in with eight 2004 born players on their roster, that’s a third of their roster that are 16 or 17 years old depending on their birthday. One of the players of note that might stand out to fans is that of defenceman David Hejduk, son of former NHL right winger and Stanley Cup champion Milan Hejduk who played with the Colorado Avalanche. The Wild play their first of two preseason games tonight before heading to Cranbrook tomorrow to play the Bucks.

Tickets for tonight’s game are just $5 and are available at the door or online at tickets.trailsmokeeaters.com. If you can’t make it to tonight’s game you can watch online on HockeyTV or listen for free on Mixlr. The Teck Trail pregame report starts at 6:45pm with Ben Phillips.