Trail, BC -- The Trail Smoke Eaters announced today plans for a second annual exhibition tournament at the Cominco Arena. The event will take place from Thursday, September 2nd through Saturday, September 4th.
Once again a trio of British Columbia Hockey League teams will be joined by an Alberta opponent. The tournament will include the Smoke Eaters, Penticton Vees, Powell River Kings and Brooks Bandits.
Last year's event was the first of it's kind in Trail and drew over a dozen NCAA schools.
"We want to see that number increase this year," says Smokies Coach and GM Jim Ingram. "We think we have a great young talent base with the three teams that are coming in here."
One change this year saw the tournament moved from the final weekend in August to the first in September.
"A lot cuts will have been made and that gives the schools a chance to see what the teams will actually look like."
Ingram doesn't just see it as a chance to showcase players to scouts.
"It's a great opportunity for us to showcase Trail," he says. "The teams last year absolutely loved it so we're happy to do it again."
Ingram notes there has been interest from other teams willing to participate in the tournament. For now the Smokies will keep it to four clubs, but the possibility is open for expanding the event in the future.
The Smoke Eaters will be showing off a large crop of returning players including three who were at a point per game scoring pace in the 2009-10 season. While players like Travis St. Denis (Quinnipiac), Sam Mellor (Alaksa-Anchorage) and Eric Walker (Northern Michigan) are already committed to NCAA schools; there are several other current Smokies and recruits who will attract attention from scouts.
The Powell River Kings are the two-time defending BCHL Coastal Conference Champions. They were one game away from representing the BCHL in the 2010 Royal Bank Cup.
Penticton was the third place team in the final CJHL regular season national rankings. 18 Vees on last season's roster earned commitments from NCAA schools.
Brooks brings representation from the AJHL. They finished fifth in the South Division and advanced to the second round of the playoffs in 2009-10.
For more information on the 2010 Trail Smoke Eaters exhibition tournament, visit www.trailsmokeeaters.com or www.bchl.ca.
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