The Trail Smoke Eaters will look to finish off preseason play on a high note as they host the West Kelowna Warriors at Cominco Arena on Saturday night.
The Smoke Eaters come into Saturday night’s contest having picked up a 5-3 victory in West Kelowna under 24 hours ago. Trail’s power play did a lot of the heavy lifting in the game with Mack Byers, Levi Glasman, Owen Ozar and Hayden Rowan all scoring on the man advantage while Trevor Zins scored the lone even strength goal for the Smoke Eaters in their third preseason victory.
Tanner Marshall got the start in goal for the Smokies, turning aside 13 of the 16 shots he faced through two periods before handing off to 2002-born netminder Logan Terness, who stopped all seven shots that he faced in the game’s final period. The crease will have a familiar look for the Smoke Eaters tonight as Adam Marcoux gets the nod in goal, making his 3rd start of exhibition and compiling two shutouts in his previous two starts, both coming against the Wenatchee Wild.
The returning players for the Smoke Eaters have had a strong showing throughout the course of the exhibition but none more so than the pride of Long Lake, Minnesota, Mack Byers. After scoring 5 times in 27 games with the Smoke Eaters a season ago, Byers has tallied three goals in preseason action and looks to be one of the several key veterans up front for the Smokies.
The Warriors enter play on Saturday with a 2-3 record in their previous five preseason tilts, dropping two games to the Penticton Vees with a home-and-home sweep of the Salmon Arm Silverbacks sandwiched in. Matt Kowalski has led the West Kelowna charge with five preseason goals in four games, including a hat-trick last Friday against the Silverbacks. Kowalski headman’s a strong contingent of Warrior returnees with the potential of 12 players from last year’s squad drawing into the lineup this season.
The Warriors will have nine of their veterans from last season hit the ice tonight including leading scorers and third-year Warriors Chase Dubois and Parm Dhaliwal while 20-year-old defender Cody Paivarinta and second-year defenseman Wyatt Head also highlight the Warriors lineup. Connor Hopkins, a Yale commit along with the Smoke Eaters Hayden Rowan, will get the start in goal after making 28 saves on 32 shots in last night’s defeat for West Kelowna.