Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Ingram Previews Penticton Game (And Some Catch Up)

The holiday break is over for the Smokies. After a few adventures that made some of the boys feel like they were in the middle of the John Candy flick 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles' they're all back and ready for action tomorrow night against Penticton. You can catch all the action as always on Mountain FM with AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey starting with our pre-game show 15 minutes before the game.

So Jim Ingram got a 10 day break from me badgering him for an interview, but it's right back to work! Here's the coach on how to finally get a win at the new building in Penticton and to maybe get the team's recent road slide turned around.

Smoke Eaters Coach Jim Ingram

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Lets see if the Smokies can take the kind of game they've had against the Vees at Cominco Arena into Penticton this time. I hope so because the last two games at their new rink were sleepers from a Trail perspective. After that, the boys are going to be on the bus and probably counting down to midnight on the road in Rock Creek. I'll be staying behind as thankfully my understanding girlfriend is tagging along so we can spend it together in Penticton. Hockey/Media wives, girlfriends, kids... they're the most patient folks in the world.

That all being said, I have some other audio stored up that I neglected to post as I was celebrating the holiday season in Castlegar. First, here's Travis St. Denis discussing his scholarship at Quinnipiac. What a great story this year has been for the 16 year old Trail native.

Forward Travis St. Denis Discussing Scholarship

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Here's an interview I did with Patrick Raley on Overtime after his three goal performance in two games against Quesnel. Raley has really come into his own offensively and is now leading the Smokies blueliners in scoring.

Defenseman Patrick Raley

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This is just a little something I dug up recently. I did one of those montage introduction type things for the first broadcast of the season. Do you like features like this? If there's good feedback it might be something I'd start doing regularely.

Regular Season Broadcast Introduction

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Don't forget the Smokies and Vees tomorrow night on AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey on Mountain FM. Also check out the Cents Blog for an interview with the BCHL commish on the future of the Merritt franchise as Trail gets set to visit the Cents this weekend. Also check out Hammer's blog for an update on international hockey action in Port Alberni. Having had the chance to call the World Junior A Challenge in Trail last year I know how much fun Hammer is having right now. Enjoy it, sir!

Happy New Years! Be safe tomorrow night everyone.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day Smokies Alumni Update

I'm going to try and keep a running list of where to get statistical updates on former Smoke Eaters that are playing hockey around the globe this season. This is an incomplete list and I'll be updating it as often as I can. If you have a link to a player I have not been able to find please pass it along at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com

First of all, Merry Christmas to all those out there who celebrate.  I've been busy with my birthday (Christmas Eve) and Christmas celebrations with my girlfriend's family here in Castlegar, but I wanted to pass along a holiday update to the list.  Hope you are all having a great holiday season.  The Smokies are back in action on the 31rst in Penticton.

Congratulations to Skyler Smutek for making the AJHL All-Star Game.  It's only been a couple of months since he got moved from Trail to Drayton Valley and he's made an immediate impact there.  Being named to the star game as a rookie who came to his team mid-way through the season?  That's impressive.  Nice work Skyler!

Also check out another great new BCHL blog for Merritt.  They've even got their own list of former Cents based on what I've done here.  I hope that becomes a regular feature elsewhere too because I think it's nice to keep track.  You'll get great insight on this blog so check it out.  You can also check out the blog for Vernon's terrific game recap artist the vipersdiehardfan.

I've got some audio to post over the next couple of days, but otherwise have a great break and we'll see you back at the rink soon!  Enjoy the World Juniors.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

December 20th Trail 4 Quesnel 1 Video Highlights

I'm back in the broadcast booth for Saturday's final game before the holiday break as Patrick Raley completes his transformation to sniper and Jadon Porterfield shows that he's a switch hitter.

December 19th Trail 3 Quesnel 1 Video Highlights

Mountain FM's Jeff Sargeant on the call as Trail breaks their four game losing streak in a tight one.

In addition, here's a look at our first attempt at a pre-game show. The Millionaires interview didn't air until the first intermission because of a computer crash, but it was something we tried out for the first time this Friday. It'll improve once we start up again in the new year.

Friday, December 19, 2008

St. Denis to Quinnipiac

Great news today as the Smoke Eaters are set for action against Quesnel. 16 year old Trail native and Smokies star rookie Travis St. Denis has committed to Quinnipiac University to play NCAA Division 1 hockey as of the 2011-2012 hockey season. In addition to St. Denis earning a great opportunity (when some didn't even think he'd make the team this year) it also means he'll be a Smoke Eater for two more seasons. There's always a risk great young talents will end up going to the WHL. This means Travis will stick around and continue to blossom as a part of his home town team.

I'll have more on this and other stuff shortly, but for now I want to get back to watching the game!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Smokies Weekend Audio

Here's some overdue audio from the weekend. Since taking over the afternoon show in addition to a shortened Overtime (I'm on from 3pm to 9pm) I've had less time to focus on the blog. Also, it's not quite as fun to talk about a four game losing skid! Here's some audio from Overtime this week. I'll have Tom Bohmer from the Millionaires on the show tomorrow as Trail hosts Quesnel on Friday and Saturday to close out their schedule before the holiday break. I also want to discuss the latests KIJHL points scandal a little more. For now I'll pass on what their president had to say after the ruling on Princeton's punishment this past weekend.

Smoke Eaters Coach Jim Ingram

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey December 13: Salmon Arm 4 Trail 1

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey December 13: Westside 5 Trail 4

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KIJHL President Bill Ohlhausen

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Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Dec 16 Smokies Alumni Update

I'm going to try and keep a running list of where to get statistical updates on former Smoke Eaters that are playing hockey around the globe this season. This is an incomplete list and I'll be updating it as often as I can. If you have a link to a player I have not been able to find please pass it along at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com

After a couple of weeks off I have a lot to report.  First news that Devan Hartigan earned the rookie of the week nod for the Central Collegiate Hockey Association on December 8th.  I didn't even know he was playing until a couple of guys on the bus told me.  A former Smoke Eater, Spruce King and Beaver Valley Nitehawk, Hartigan earned a spot on Northern Michigan as a walk on.  Congratulations Devan!  

Congrats are also in order for Cam Brodie who got named to the Coastal Conference All-Star Team.  Brodie's excellence in all aspects of the game have finally been rewarded.  This past month he and Dylan Herold were joined by another former Smoke Eater when Nathan Westover got traded back to the BCHL to Burnaby.  Lots of guys for Smokies fans to cheer for on the Express.  They weren't the only former Smoke Eaters on the move.  Brett Corcoran got traded from Cowichan Valley to Surrey and Brad Davis returned to the league with Langley.

Speaking of All-Stars, Miles Houston and Brock Monroe were awarded for their outstanding play with spots in the KIJHL All-Star game.  Congrats to both guys for leading Nelson to the best record in the league so far this season.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Game Day Audio from Westside

Jim Ingram is not a happy coach after the last couple of games. Tune in at 2:15 on Mountain FM and in the BCHL Fanzone to see if the Smokies can get back on track after a three game losing streak this week. Here's today's game day audio for those of you who can't listen to our radio broadcast.

Mota Auto Repair Behind the Bench with Smokies Coach Jim Ingram

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RDKB Visitor's Viewpoint with Warriors Assistant Coach Misko Antisin

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Re-Max All Pro Realty First Intermission with Warriors broadcaster Kevin Parnell

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Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Game Day Audio from Vernon

Here's my interviews for the Vipers/Smokies game today for those who don't get Mountain FM. One quick game note, Nick Sandor is back from injury while Jadon Porterfield is taking the night off to rest up a minor bump. Game time 7 o'clock on Mountain FM and in the BCHL Fanzone for AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey!

Mota Auto Repair Behind the Bench with Smokies Coach Jim Ingram

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RDKB Visitor's Viewpoint with Vipers Coach Mark Ferner

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Re-Max All Pro Realty First Intermission with Vipers Forward Connor Jones

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December 6th Trail 3 Penticton 2 (OT) Video Highlights

Another absurdly dramatic game in Trail between the Smokies and the Vees. All four ended with Trail overtime wins. Brandon Clark scored the winner the first two times. Travis St. Denis took care of the next two. This game was a beauty.

Tonight in Vernon it's the Smokies and the Vipers. Tune in to Mountain FM for the broadcast of AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey!

Smokies Overtime Audio

After a great weekend and riding a four game winning streak, the Trail Smoke Eaters are in Vernon Tuesday night. You can hear the game on Mountain FM with AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey. Live on the radio and in the BCHL Fanzone for those who don't live in our broadcast region.

Here's what you've missed if you haven't been listening to Mountain FM's Overtime lately. First we have post-game audio from the 3-2 win over Penticton, followed by talk from Trail's All-Stars, followed by the Smokies President on the Coach's extension and finally an interview I did last week with the voice of the Vees. To get this audio first listen to Overtime from 6pm to 9pm weeknights on Mountain FM.

Travis St. Denis

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Paul Barclay

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Graeme Strukoff

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Sean Nugent

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Coach Jim Ingram

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All Star J.F. Boisvert

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All Star Chad Gehon

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Smokies President Tom Gawryletz on Ingram's Extension

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Penticton Vees Broadcaster Ryan Pinder (Before the Weekend)

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Sunday, December 7, 2008

December 5th Trail 6 Quesnel 2 Video Highlights

Mountain FM's own Jeff Sargeant on the call as Trail opens the weekend with a victory.

Friday, December 5, 2008

November 30th Trail 6 Prince George 2 Video Highlights

A lot of people at the game tonight (Trail beating Quesnel 6-2) were asking about the Prince George game and especially Travis St. Denis' first career BCHL fight against Sam Muchalla. Here we have all the goals and fights from a wild win last weekend. The commentary here is from the guys in Prince George.

I'll have audio from the two new Smokies all-stars and Penticton broadcaster Ryan Pinder on the blog tomorrow. Hope to see a ton of you out at the game. Trail and Penticton have had some outstanding games at the Cominco Arena this season. All three have been Trail wins in Overtime. Don't miss it.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Ingram Talks

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Here's the interview we had tonight on Mountain FM's Overtime with Jim Ingram. We'll have Smokies President Tom Gawryletz and new All-Stars Chad Gehon and J.F. Boisvert on the show tomorrow. Tune in to Mountain FM between 6pm and 9pm for Overtime. I'm on the air from 3pm to 9pm every weekday.

Ingram Extended

(Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram)

It's a busy afternoon of Smokies news! I've just talked to Smokies President Tom Gawryletz and he let me know that the board has granted Coach and General Manager Jim Ingram a three year contract extension. Ingram's initial two year contract was set to run out at the end of this season, so the team acted fast in ensuring a longer term stay for their bench boss. Gawryletz told me that they were all very impressed with the end of last year, the way Ingram recruited and with the first half of this season. Both Ingram and the Smokies were looking for stability, and a three year term should ensure that.

It's not hard to see why the Smokies board would be pleased with the way this season has gone so far. After almost completely turning over the roster, Ingram has the team 9 games over .500 with the third best winning percentage in the Interior Conference (5th in the BCHL). He has a roster that could compete for a league championship this season, but one that also has the potential to see 16 players return next season and 9 players with at least two years of eligibility left.

We'll have Ingram as a guest on Mountain FM's Overtime tonight from 6pm to 9pm. Those are the new hours of the show as I'm now also hosting the afternoon drive from 3pm to 6pm.

Congratulations to one of the most genuinely good people in the BCHL. He's a class act, and with Ingram running things the Smoke Eaters will continue to be a classy, hard working team.

Of course the last time a Smokies coach signed an extension he was off to the WHL within weeks. Tim Kehler singed a two year contract with Trail right before he moved on to Swift Current as their assistant coach. I asked Ingram about that today and he said it's not even on his radar. His wife is happy here, his three children are happy here, he's happy here and the coach says he has a lot more to accomplish with the Smoke Eaters before even considering the idea of moving on.

I don't think there's any question that he'll one day get the opportunity, but for now Trail is lucky to have him.

Interior All Stars

(Chad Gehon and J.F. Boisvert)

Congratulations to Smokies forwards Chad Gehon and J.F. Boisvert for being named to this year's BCHL Interior Conference All-Star Team. They are both deserving of the honour after very strong first halfs. Gehon has put up a very impressive 13 goals, 23 assists and 36 points in only 27 games so far this season. He's a third year veteran who has been Trail's most dynamic offensive threat. Boisvert made a quick adjustment to the BCHL as a rookie from Quebec and has notched 9 goals, 23 assists and 32 points in 29 games. He and Ryan Bulach have been terrific together and a force on the wall. Congratulations to Chad and J.F. for their well deserved honour.

Click here for the full release, but for now here's the roster:

Sean Ambrosie - Prince George Spruce Kings
JF Boisvert - Trail Smoke Eaters
Keenan Desmet - Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Chad Gehon - Trail Smoke Eaters
Trevor Hertz - Quesnel Millionaires
Connor Jones - Vernon Vipers

Curtis McKenzie - Penticton Vees
Denver Manderson - Penticton Vees
Conor Morrison - Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Sam Muchalla - Prince George Spruce Kings
Braden Pimm - Vernon Vipers
Mark Zengerle - Salmon Arm Silverbacks

Kyle Bigos - Vernon Vipers
Zach Davies - Prince George Spruce Kings

Matt Grassi - Salmon Arm Silverbacks
Wes McLeod - Prince George Spruce Kings
Cory Pritz - Westside Warriors
Justin Schultz - Westside Warriors

Kevin Genoe - Prince George Spruce Kings
Andrew Hammond - Vernon Vipers
Harrison May - Merritt Centennials

A couple of things strike me when reading that list. First of all that the Prince George Spurce Kings lead the conference with five players on the team. All those players are certainly deserving, but it seems odd to me that they would have five players while Trail, Westside and Penticton (three teams ahead of them in the standings) are only sending two players to the game. I'm not saying that to denigrate the play or achievements of any of those players, but it seems to me there could easily have been three from PG and three from two of those other teams that only have two players going.

Penticton, Wetsside and Trail all have players with comparable achievements to those of Sean Ambrosie and Wes McLeod. I'm thinking of Garrett Milan, Ryan Viseli or Zack Josepher from Penticton. Trevor Bailey or Jordan Gagne from Westside. What about Ryan Bulach, Andrew Pickering, Paul Mailey or Brandon Clark from Trail? I'd say Nick Sandor too if not for his injury.

Ambrosie has more points than all those forwards I mentioned, but that doesn't tell the whole story. A guy like Bulach for example has taken his game up to another level this season at both ends of the ice and in the dressing room. He's been perhaps the best two-way player in the Interior while putting up a point per game pace and leading a dressing room full of rookies to 18 wins in 30 games.

McLeod has 2 more points than say a guy like Brandon Clark, but has any defenseman meant more to his team's early success this season than Clark? He scored 3 overtime winners and 4 game winning goals. He's been out there in every key situation delivering with offensive numbers, defensive stops, physical play and leadership. He's been the veteran leader of a young defensive crew that has surprised the league. Again I'm not saying Clark on an individual basis is absolutely 100% more deserving than McLeod, I'm saying the spots could easily have been spread out more evenly with justified selections.

Those are just guys from Trail.

As pointed out by Ryan Pinder on his blog, Penticton's Zack Josepher has 27 points in 30 games from the blue line. What about Kevin Jebson who has solidified the goaltending in Westside? 18 year old Jordan Grant who has been producing at both ends of the ice on an offensively depleted Merritt team. Quesnel's Mitchell Smith who has teamed with Hertz to create one of the most dynamic one/two punches in the league this year and who has put up 34 points on an injury riddled Millionaires squad.

I know the All Star selections were done by a vote from coaches around the league, but I also think there should be a little bit more balance. I'm sure some exceptions were made to get guys from the struggling teams into the game so obviously the voting system isn't entirely to the letter by the book here. I just think some tweaks could have been made to make this a more representative team while still putting deserving players on the squad.

That being said, all the players deserve the be there. I picked on Ambrosie and McLeod, but both those players have had terrific seasons that should be recognized. I just think there were some excellent players on excellent teams who should have perhaps been given more consideration.

December 2nd Weekend Audio

Sorry about my lack of updates over the past week. I've been fighting a bad cold. I'm into the second week of this stubborn illness and it seems like I'm on the mend. On top of that I've been trying to learn a new aspect of my job. I've got a lot of stuff I want to talk about as the Smokies have reached the mid-way point of the BCHL season. What Smokie fan could be disappointed with 18 wins and a tie for third place? This on a team with only five returning players and a bus full of rookies. Congratulations to the whole organization for making great strides this season.

For now here's some audio from the weekend. Unfortunately with all the fights on Sunday our producer wasn't able to record everything. I don't have all the great battles in our highlights, but I'm planning to try to get the video highlights shortly so that you guys can get your own look at the show. The league may not be trying to promote it, but it was a lot of fun to watch. Who would've thought that Travis St. Denis was such a heavy? The Smokies were riding high at the end of the trip after dominating on the ice and "in the ring" if I can put it that way.

I've also got the interview I did with Legassic and Porterfield live in the studio last night on Mountain FM. It was a lot of fun so give it a listen. By the way, if you want to check out the highlights from the 6-3 Trail loss against Cowichan Valley they're on the BCHL in the Fanzone so just follow that link and click on highlights. Purple Penguin Productions does a very solid job when they do these.

Smokies Forwards Jadon Porterfield and CJ Legassic on Overtime

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Smokies Coach Jim Ingram

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey: Trail 4 Quesnel 1

AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey: Trail 4 Prince George 1

Pinder's Power Rankings

I've been sick so the blog updates have been on the back burner.  For now here's a link to Ryan Pinder's Interior Conference Power Rankings.  Thanks for the kind words, Ryan!  One question that I have coming out of his rankings and a strong weekend for the Mills; is Quesnel back in the thick of things?  They're getting some much improved goaltending and the roster is healthier.  We're only half way through the season, so their playoff chances are still within sight.  The conference is still as tight as ever.  That's why the home games against Quesnel and Penticton this weekend are as important as ever.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

An Interview with Capitals Coach Scott Robinson

(Scott Robinson from the Capitals website)

Robinson and the Caps are in Trail tonight to take on the Smoke Eaters. Cowichan is coming off a 5-3 win over Penticton. Tonight is the return of Brett Corcoran and Jimmy Geerin to Trail with another team. It's also the first game for Marco Raimondo and Brandon Clark against their former mates. Should be a good one. If you missed my interview with Robinson last night on Mountain FM's Overtime, here it is...

Cowichan Valley Coach Scott Robinson

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Wednesday, November 26, 2008

November 26th Smokies Alumni Update

(Brett Corcoran as a Smoke Eater - Photo Randy Emery)

I'm going to try and keep a running list of where to get statistical updates on former Smoke Eaters that are playing hockey around the globe this season. This is an incomplete list and I'll be updating it as often as I can. If you have a link to a player I have not been able to find please pass it along at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com

This week Grant Rollheiser bounced back from a loss with a 3-2 victory for Boston University over Holy Cross. He is seemingly rotating with Kieran Millan and the major difference in their stats is that Millan has one shut out. That gave him enough of a boost to have a lead on Rollheirse in every other number. It's early yet, and as Leafs and Smokies fans know very well Rollie gets better and better as the season grows longer. The reason I mention this specifically is because I found a link to video highlights of BU games. All you see from Grant is the two goals he let in, but it's cool to get to see him in action. http://all-access.cbssports.com/player.html?code=bost&media=93438

Brett Skinner got sent back down to the AHL after an 11 game stint with the New York Islanders. He's a puck mover and didn't record any points so I think the demotion was inevitable. After a taste of the show I'm sure he's going to just work all that much harder to make sure he gets back.

The Cowichan Valley Capitals are going to be in Trail tomorrow night at 7:30pm for a very intriguing game. Former Smokies Brett Corcoran and Jimmy Geerin are important parts of the Capitals this season. Corcoran wears an A and is tied for the team lead in goals. Geerin is among their top scoring defensemen. Former Capitals Marco Raimondo and Brandon Clark have flourished with the Smokies. Raimondo has among the best numbers of any goaltender in the BCHL while Clark (wearing an A) has been a leader at both ends of the ice and off the ice for Trail. In addition to the players involved, Smokies Coach Jim Ingram was once an assistant under Capitals Coach Scott Robinson in the BCHL. They're old friends transformed into rivals when the puck drops tomorrow night. It should be a blast. I only wish we got to see the coast and island teams more often.

Monday, November 24, 2008

November 22: Trail 6 Westside 4 Video Highlights

I've got a load of highlights from Saturday's thrilling 6-4 victory at the Cominco Arena. It was as entertaining a game as I've seen this season and Kevin (Wetside's broadcaster) said the same thing when we talked yesterday. The highlights should all play one after another here using a youtube playlist. Let me know if you have any problems. Hopefully I'll be able to get you some more video before Thursday.

Weekend Audio

(Brown and Mihalek square off - Photo Randy Emery)

Forward Justin Brown

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Coach and GM Jim Ingram

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey: Penticton 8 Trail 2

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This is an interesting story. Jim Clegg has been to over 170 arenas in North America. He's from Providence and was making his first trip through BC. He's been to Vancouver, Chilliwack, Kelowna, Vernon, Penticton and now Trail. It's a great story so check out my interview with him here.

Hockey Tourist Jim Clegg

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Friday, November 21, 2008

Penticton Game Day Audio

Behind the Bench for Mota Auto Repair: Trail Assistant Coach Brian Youngson

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Visitor's View Point for the RDKB: Penticton Assistant Coach David Small

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First Intermission for Remax All Pro Realty: Penticton Broadcaster Ryan Pinder

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Listen to tonight's broadcast of AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey locally at 104.1FM in Trail, 99.3FM in Castlegar, 103.5FM in Nelson and 96.7FM in Grand Forks. On the internet check us out in the BCHL fanzone and click on Away Broadcast. If you have any problems let me now by e-mail at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Trail 7 Merritt 2 Highlights

Here are the highlights from Tuesday's home game against Merritt. I included all 9 goals and 4 fights so it would've been too much to place directly onto this blog. Instead I just made a youtube playlist that should play through all of them. Let me know if it doesn't work for you. The call comes from Merritt play by play man Alex Grebenyuk who battled through despite being obviously very sick. I know how tough that is so good on Alex for getting the job done despite all that.

Westover Traded

(Westover clears the front of the net in 2007 - Photo Randy Emery)

Ryan Pinder has all the details over at his Vees Blog.  The bottom line of all the trading is that the Vees get younger, but they're hoping more talented.  It also opens up more room at the 20 year old spot for Harbinson to work with later in the season.  Make note of that and watch out for that come January.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Merritt Audio

(Andrew Pickering opens the scoring - Photo Randy Emery)

First here's the boxscore.

I've also posted some interviews I got after last night's 7-2 win over Merritt. We played them tonight on Mountain FM's Overtime. For any fan in the West Kootenay Boundary we always have all the newest sports audio and best sports coverage on Overtime between 6pm and Midnight every weeknight at 104.1 in Trail, 99.3 in Castlegar, 103.5 in Nelson and 96.7 in Grand Forks.

Forward Chad Gehon

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(Barclay looks through traffic - Photo Randy Emery)

Goaltender Paul Barclay

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(Boisvert scores shorthanded - Photo Randy Emery)

Assistant Coach Brian Youngson

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(Nugent and Porterfield dish out some punishment - Photo Randy Emery)

November 19th Smokies Alumni Update

(Stefan Decosse avoids a hit - Photo Randy Emery)

I'm going to try and keep a running list of where to get statistical updates on former Smoke Eaters that are playing hockey around the globe this season. This is an incomplete list and I'll be updating it as often as I can. If you have a link to a player I have not been able to find please pass it along at shawnsamsmullin@hotmail.com

This week Stefan Decosse scored his first career NCAA goal and picked up 3 points. The former Smoke Eater is finding his offensive game. Shawn Horcoff picked up 3 points yesterday against Columbus and he's starting to get his game back to where it was last season. Brett Skinner continues to play with the Islanders and may be working towards a permanent spot in the show.