Unfortunately due to work commitments I was unable to attend the two exhibition games in Chase this weekend. As such my access to details of the games has been somewhat limited. The BCHL doesn't require box scores for exhibition either.
I was able to talk to a couple of people and rustled up some very minor details. For one, Matthew Laboucane was again impressive for Trail in the game. You can see him here in a photo from the inter-squad game throwing a huge hit next to the bench. Laboucane is an energy guy with a lot of jam and pretty good touch as well. In the same game as he threw a couple of huge hits I also saw him win a tenacious battle for the puck and make a pass from his knees to set up a scoring chance. This is a player to watch.
He played last season for the Cold Lake Ice in Alberta Junior B. He is sure making a case for himself so far.
Goaltenders Andrew Walton (91 from the Castlegar Rebels) and Mike Vlanich (92 from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks) shared duties last night. I hear they both played well and I would think that will continue to keep things interesting in the battle for the back-up spot. I am under the impression that we'll see two other goaltenders today. That would likely mean Matt Larose (92 from the Nelson Leafs) and Zach Perehudoff (93 from the Okanagan Hockey Academy) in goal tonight.
Again it is worth mentioning that the Smokies left almost all their returning vets at home this weekend. These games are a test to see how the young prospects will do in a competitive environment. It's more about player evaluation than team results. We'll see I think a more game ready Smokies squad at the Mountain FM Ashes tournament starting Thursday.
By the way if you want some more pictures from training camp check out the Trail Smoke Eaters Facebook page and click on photos. I want to see that page get over 200 "likes" before the start of the regular season!
Also I just wanted to mention I was reading reports from the Spokane Chiefs camp full of praise and admiration for the courage and toughness of Josh "Mad Dog" McEwan. They don't know the half of it yet! It wouldn't surprise anyone here to know that Josh isn't backing down from anyone at camp and won't stop throwing punches until he is physicall pulled away from the battle. That's the McEwan we know and will miss if he makes Spokane.
Small goalie comes up large
12 hours ago