This is the first of three consecutive games between the Smokies and Warriors. They'll play tonight and Saturday night in Trail before hooking up again on Tuesday night in West Kelowna. Westside already knows where they'll finish in the standings (3rd in the Interior) while it's still do or die for Trail as they push for the playoffs. It's also only the fourth meeting of the season between the two clubs.
Trail has been a different team over their last three games. A lot of those positive strides started in the previous two months with occasional let downs. Are they fully on the right track now? They've had trouble with the Warriors in what has been a relatively small sample of BCHL action this season. The Smokies also haven't got a win over the Warriors since November 22nd, 2008. That includes a three game sweep for Westside in the first round of the playoffs last season. The final two games of that series were heartbreaking OT losses for Trail. Here's how the season series breaks down...
The two most recent games in the season series were closer than the score would indicate. However, the Smokies have had a lot of trouble scoring against the Warriors so far this season. Kevin Jebson has been a thorn in Trail's side dating back to when he snuffed out their 2009 playoff dreams. The Smokies are coming off scoring 5 goals against the Vees and 4 against the Bulldogs. Can they do the same against this hard working Westside group? The other thing to note is that the most recent game was a very intense and physical battle. With 3 games against each other in 5 days we could see those hostilities flare up.
Trail: 17-30-1-6 (5-6-0-3 in 2010) Westside: 35-15-1-2 (9-4-0-1 in 2010)
Trail: 3/15 (20%) Westside: 6/12 (50%)
TRAIL TOP SCORERS
Paul Mailey (1-2-3) Mike Betz (1-1-2) Nick Sandor (1-1-2) Scott Jacklin (1-1-2) Travis St. Denis (0-2-2)