Sunday, November 15, 2009

Smokies drop both weekend games

Vernon, BC – Travis St. Denis' first career hat trick was the highlight of back to back losses for the Trail Smoke Eaters (6-18-1-1) in Vernon (24-1-0-0). The Vipers beat Trail 8-4 and 7-1 on Friday and Saturday nights.

Sam Mellor and Paul Mailey scored Trail's other goals. Darnell Dyck had 2 assists.

Montrose native Connor Jones responded with a hat trick of his own on Saturday. The Jones twins combined for 11 points while Vernon out shot the Smokies 91-51 over the weekend.

The Vipers have won all four games between the two teams this season. The defending national champions have only lost once so far this season.

Trail's next action is in Prince George on Thursday. After this week's northern trip the Smoke Eaters will then play 13 of their next 15 games at home.

ON THE TRAIL: Trail was only the second team this season to score at least 4 goals against Vernon in a game ... Travis St. Denis' hat trick was the second by a Smoke Eater so far this season. Nick Sandor scored one against Surrey in October ... Kiefer Smiley faced 72 shots in two starts over the weekend. Garrett Beckwith stopped 17 of 19 Vernon shots in relief of Smiley on Saturday ... Mike Betz suffered a lower body injury in his debut with Trail on Friday. Steve Koshey was injured in Saturday's game. The status of both players is questionable heading into this week's games ... Matt Wilkins will not return for the northern trip but will likely be back with the Smokies for their next home games ... Graeme Strukoff was suspended for Saturday's game after being involved in the second fight after a whistle. Strukoff squared off with Vipers Captain Kevin Kraus after Kraus was the third man into an altercation between Ben Matthews and Braden Pimm.

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