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Preview – Warriors come to town for a Friday night Showdown against Smoke Eaters

The Smoke Eaters lone game of the week will see the West Kelowna Warriors come to town as they sit above the Smoke Eaters in the standings and are one of two teams to beat the Smoke Eaters on home ice this season.

Season series verse West Kelowna:

Oct. 13 West Kelowna 5 at Trail 4 Final
Nov. 26 West Kelowna at Trail 7:00 pm PST
Jan. 29 Trail at West Kelowna 7:00 pm PST
Feb. 20 Trail at West Kelowna 6:00 pm PST
Mar. 4 West Kelowna at Trail 7:00 pm PST

The Smoke Eaters have another tough test ahead of them on Friday night as the Warriors come to town looking to repeat their October performance that saw them win 5-4 over Trail. The Smoke Eaters bounced back and got back in the win column on Saturday night in Cranbrook with a 4-3 overtime win over the Bucks. A Zach Michaelis double and a Wolford winner helped the Smoke Eaters prevail over the Bucks, but a more complete effort from start to finish will be needed from the Smoke Eaters if they want to beat the Warriors who are 8-2 in their last ten games. The Smoke Eaters powerplay, despite going 0/4 on Saturday still sits in the top half of the league at very respectable 23.4%. That against the Warriors penalty kill that sits at 75.8%, might be an avenue the Smoke Eaters will look to exploit. Evan Fradette also comes into this game for the Smoke Eaters with 7 wins in his last 7 starts, a trend everyone would like to see be extended.

Smoke Eaters leading scorers:

Hunter (4-12-16)
Michaelis (11-4-15)
Disher (5-9-14)
Cunningham (4-9-13)
Bushy (3-9-12)

The Warriors have shot up the interior division standings and are much improved from the team that took to the ice, not only last year, but the year prior to that. A seven game win streak helped that as the Warriors took points from Prince George, Powell River, Cranbrook, Merritt, Wenatchee, and Vernon before their run was snapped by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Despite the run and a 12-4 record the Warriors have stumbled slightly over their last three games going 1-2, however their losses came from teams above them in the standings from Salmon Arm and Penticton. The Warriors have also gotten a lot of scoring from Felix Trudeau and Tyler Cristall, the latter of the two comes in riding a 14 game point streak. Trudeau, Joughin and Cristall will all be players that the Smoke Eaters will need to contain to beat this warriors team.

Warriors leading scorers:

Trudeau (11-11-22)
Bar-Lev-Wise (9-9-18)
Cristall (11-6-17)
Joughin (1-14-15)
Van Houtte-Cachero (8-5-13)

It’s also the Smoke Eaters annual ‘Stuff the Bus’ night as in partnership with NextGen Transit and the Salvation Army we’ll be accepting non-perishable food items and lightly used winter jackets to fill a transit bus. Tickets are going fast as it’s the Smoke Eaters lone game of the week. If you can’t make it out, catch the game on BCHLTV as well as on Shaw Spotlight or listen on the Smoke Eaters Mixlr