Tuesday, January 6, 2009

New Year Road Trip Radio Highlights

The Smoke Eaters are hoping they've righted their ship on the road after a 9-1 win over Merritt on Sunday afternoon. Trail didn't beat Penticton, Salmon Arm or Vernon. However, they were in all of those games and proved over periods of those games that they can play with and out play those teams. The problem for Trail on the road has been the consistency of their efforts. They had been getting off to some rough starts too, but that changed with the game in Salmon Arm and a fairly even first period in Vernon. The Silverbacks game was lost by a power play that was obviously missing the injured Brandon Clark and booted Patrick Raley. The Vipers game slipped away after a couple of questionable goals. The first which may or may not have been knocked in by Short's glove and the second which I'm told didn't even cross the goal line.

In Merritt the Smokies were playing too loose. They had a 4-1 lead after two periods, but they were giving up too many odd man rushes and forcing Raimondo to make some big stops. The boys went back to basics after a quick lesson from Coach Ingram in the intermission. What followed was a display of the kind of hockey this Trail team can play. When they play their system with dedication, passion and hard work they are among the best teams in this league. When they make smart, simple plays and don't try to force things, the Smokies can be as tough to play against as anyone. They've got four lines who can shut you down and score. They've got as mobile a group on D as any in the league. They have two goaltenders who can steal them periods and even games. As cliche as it sounds, it's just a matter of putting those sixty minutes together on the road. Hopefully the third period against a game Cents squad was a turning point. However, they still have to prove they can win regularly away from home against the best this league has to offer. The game in Penticton on Friday will be an important one in that regard.

Here are the radio highlights of the four road games since the holiday break. Thanks to CJ Legassic (in Pen) and Justin Brown (in Merritt) for providing some insightful commentary. That doesn't really appear on the highlights our producer cropped out, but they did great jobs. Justin really added a lot to the full game in Merritt, and that's something I've heard from several fans all ready. Here's how it all came together on AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey.

AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey December 31: Trail 2 at Penticton 4

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey January 2: Trail 3 at Salmon Arm 5

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey January 3: Trail 1 at Vernon 4

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AM Ford Trail Smoke Eaters Hockey January 4: Trail 9 at Merritt 1

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