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PREVIEW: SMOKE EATERS WRAP UP 2019 AS THEY HOST THE COWICHAN VALLEY CAPITALS

The Trail Smoke Eaters will look to collect their 23rd win and their 50th point of the season as they host the Cowichan Valley Capitals in their final game before the Christmas break.

Regular season vs Cowichan

October 11th @ Cowichan Community Centre 6-5 SOW (BOXSCORE)

December 20th @ Trail Memorial Centre @ 7pm

The Smoke Eaters will look to wrap up 2019 on a high note with a visit from the Capitals on Friday night, it will be no easy task as the Capitals come in with a record almost identical to the Smoke Eaters. It was a barn burner the last time these teams met back in October as the Smoke Eater came back to win in a shootout, against a Caps teams that was 9-3 at the time. Now the Smoke Eaters will look to take the home game against the Capitals coming off a 4-1 win on Wednesday night in Vernon. The Smokies got strong goaltending and dominated most of the possession in the win. Kent Johnson had a goal and an assist in the win, as he continues to increase his lead over Penticton Vees forward Jay O’Brien, a gap that now sits at 20 points. Smoke Eaters captain Phillipe Lapointe has cracked the top 20 in scoring with just 18 games played, sits at 35 points. A remarkable pace for the young man who along with Owen Ozar and Johnson caused nothing but problems for the Vipers on Wednesday, as the Smoke Eaters adjust to life without Tyler Ghirardosi. The Smoke Eaters power play that sits first in the BCHL also put three past the Capitals back in October, going 3/5 on the night.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Johnson (25-42-67)
Colella (15-31-46)
Ozar (14-29-43)
Lapointe (14-21-35)
Ghirardosi (18-14-32)

The Cowichan Valley Capitals come to Trail with points in their last 5 games going 4-0-1 with wins over Powell River, Salmon Arm, Merritt and Alberni Valley, with two of those wins needing extra time. The Capitals sit just one point back of the Nanaimo Clippers for first place in the Island Division. Rookie Matt Crasa has been a consistent threat all year for the Capitals. The 18-year-old from New York, New York sits third in the league with 20 goals on the season, five behind Johnson. He also scored twice for the Caps back in October against the Smoke Eaters. The Cowichan power play is nothing to dismiss either, sitting fourth in the league at 24.6% its among the best in the league, while their penalty kill is in the middle of the pack at 82%. The Capitals are kicking off a three game weekend before they start their Christmas break with games in Penticton on Saturday and in Merritt Sunday afternoon.

Cowichan Valley Capitals leading scorers:

Wilson (13-27-40)
Mikrogiannakis (6-31-37)
Crasa (20-12-32)
Gauthier (10-19-29)
Self (6-21-27)

It’s the final game of 2019 as the Smoke Eaters look for one more win before the break. If you aren’t able to make it the Cominco for tonight’s game join Ben Phillips and Rob Squires on HockeyTV and Mixlr starting at 6:50pm.