Monday, September 6, 2010

Mountain FM Ashes: Penticton 5 Trail 4

Sorry for the delay in posting this but I went right from the final game of the Ashes to a the car for a quick trip to Spokane with Laura. Precious moments ahead of my move in a couple of weeks!

As for the game, I thought it was terrific. Ultimately not the result the Smokies wanted, but it had a little bit of everything. The first period was so chippy that the coaches made a deal to cut the crap. How often do you see that? After that the violence settled down somewhat and the goal scorers took over.

Trail were in a huge hole as Polk, O'Donnell and Laleggia put the Vees up 3-0. Penticton's power play is always a force and Saturday was no different as the Vees scored 2 out of those 3 goals on the man advantage. However, the Smokies weren't ready to lay down just yet. Scott Jacklin continued his tournament MVP-like performance with a huge slapper to the top corner for his 5th goal in 3 games. That gave Trail some life and Matthew Laboucane cut the lead to only one in the final minute on his tip of a huge Logan Proulx slap shot.

Laboucane struck again early in the third to complete the come back. There is a reason he has been one of the most talked about players at camp. The 1991 born forward who played for Cold Lake in Alberta Junior B last season battles hard every shift. He wins battles, throws huge checks, does the little things right and goes to the net. He was rewarded a second time off a Curtis Tonello point shot with Proulx getting another assist as well. Then with time running down in the game Adam Boytink stole the puck for Trail and roofed a short handed marker to give the Smokies a 4-3 lead. It looked line the home club was headed for victory at the Mountaini FM Ashes.

The Vees put a kibosh on that with 2 quick goals from Joey Holka. Ryan Pinder calls it "Holka-Mania" and that was running wild at the end of the game. Holka's first came after a ridiculous dangle by Garrett Milan on Clayton McEwan. The second was just a big shot from the slot. Holka saved the Ashes for the Vees who have yet to lose a single game in two seasons at Trail's exhibition tournament.

It wasn't the ending Trail fans wanted, but ultimately this event wasn't about winning. Each staff had a chance to get to look at their veteran rosters and in that environment they were able to evaluate their bubble guys. It was also a terrific way to get players exposure to NCAA scouts early in the season. All in all I'd say it was a success. Certainly on the ice you would have a hard time convincing me this isn't the most talented Smokies team I've ever seen since moving here. They should have three lines of scoring.

Thanks to the teams, volunteers and fans who made the Mountain FM Ashes possible. I hope it'll become an annual tradition. Now BCHL fans turn their attention to the start of the regular season with Trail hosting Merritt on Friday. Hope to see you all there!

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