TRAIL, BC - Trail got goals from 7 different players and points from 14 different players in an 8-2 opening night win over Merritt. The line of Travis St. Denis, Sam Mellor and Scott Jacklin did the most damage with a combined 9 points. St. Denis scored twice with Mellor had a goal and 3 assists and Jacklin contributed a goal and 2 assists.
Trail fans also got introduced to new members of the club as 7 of them picked up their first points as Smoke Eaters. Adam Boytink and Logan Proulx scored their first BCHL goals on the night as well.
It was a dominant display by the Smokies with scoring from all four lines. They also out shot the Centennials 43-20. Merritt will look to bounce back when the two teams meet again at the Cominco Arena on Saturday night.
Trail opened the scoring when Steve Koshey's point shot was tipped in by St. Denis for his first of the season. Curtis Tonello struck next on a point shot blast set up by rookie Dylan Tappe.
Merritt got one back when goaltender Kiefer Smiley misplayed the puck leading to Max Vallis scoring for the Cents. Smiley rebounded with a solid 18 save performance in picking up the win.
The Smokies added another marker at the end of the first period as Boytink knocked in the rebound of Jacklin and Mailey's shots.
Trail put the game away early in the second period as they scored twice in 41 seconds. Jacklin put in his first of the year from Mellor and Graeme Strukoff blasted a wrist shot top corner to make it 5-1 only 15 seconds later.
Goals from Proulx, Mellor and St. Denis would put the game further out of reach.
The play got chippy in the third period perhaps setting the stage for a physical affair when Merritt comes back to the Cominco Arena for a second game on Saturday night.
ON THE TRAIL: Members of the 1961 World Champion Trail Smoke Eaters signed new anniversary merchansie throughout the game. This season Trail is marking the 50th anniversary of that club with numerous celebrations. The captain of that team Cal Hockley dropped the puck in a ceremonial face off tonight ... Paul Mailey enters his fifth season with the Smokies and second as captain. As long as he stays healthy he'll become the all time leader in games played for the BCHL version of the Smokies. The other players wearing letters were Scott Jacklin, Graeme Strukoff and Logan Proulx. One of the letters will likely rotate though ... The game marked the 15th birthday of the BCHL Smoke Eaters who first dropped the puck at the Cominco Arena in September of 1995.
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