We saw some scoring out of the Smokies prospects tonight as they fell 4-3 against Vernon in Chase. After getting shut out 4-0 on Friday, Dylan Tappe (92 from the Spokane Braves - pictured from camp), Adam Boytink (92 from Grande Prairie AAA Midget) and Chris Derochie (92 from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks) scored for Trail tonight.
This time around it was Matt Larose and Zach Perehudoff in goal for the Smokies. Again reports indicate they both played well in a losing cause. I don't think the decision on the back-up goaltender got that much easier this weekend. All four goaltenders have made a strong case for themselves. What is going to help one of these goalies separate themselves from the pack?
Losing both games isn't really relevant in this case. The main point of this trip again was for the Smokies staff to get a look at how their young guys can stand up to some legit competition. Now I imagine they'll have a lot to consider as they get set for the pre-season tournament this week. Who will still be on the Smokies roster for the Mountain FM Ashes? At that point we'll start to see some of the veterans come back in to the line-up. That means there is only room for so many prospects come Thursday. That will mean some decisions for the coaches coming up soon.
As for the Vipers, I don't know their goal scorers or anything as I wasn't at the game. That said, reports indicate that the young core for this year's Vipers will be very talented as usual. There is a lot of very good talent on that club again this year. The big question mark will be whether or not they can match the historic runs their last two teams have had.
Thanks to Chase for hosting the Smokies for these exhibition games this weekend. Hopefully it was a nice treat for fans in the area after they lost their KIJHL team this spring. They should be getting another franchise next fall.
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