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Game Preview: Trail Smoke Eaters September 29th

When: Thursday September 29th @7pm

Where: Rolling Mix Concrete Arena, Prince George


It’s time to win at home.

With the Prince George Spruce earning their first win of the season over the weekend against the Merritt Centennials, they return to the Rolling Mix Concrete Arena to find their first win on home ice.

At the Showcase it was a 7-2 win over the Centennials, followed up by a hard fought 3-2 loss to the Penticton Vees. The Spruce Kings looked like a very different team than the one that was outscored 8-29 in the first five games of the year.

The offence found their legs scoring nine goals in two games, the defence were able to keep most chances to the outside, while Liam McCloskey and Stefan Wornig both played well in net. Leading the offensive attack was Tanner Campbell who had four assists, Brett Mennear and Jamie Huber each had two goals and an assist, and Drew Lennon had three points against Merritt including his first BCHL goal.

After being shelled 11-2 by Wentachee in their final home game, the Spruce Kings have another hungry offense coming in as Trail currently sits tied fifth in league scoring. They are also coming off an exiting 5-4 overtime win at the Showcase with the extra time thriller coming against the Victoria Grizzlies who have been one of the top teams to start the season. Tyson Slater who now leads his team in goal scoring along with Kale Howarth scored the OT winner.

Barring the results of Tuesday’s West Kelowna/Merritt game, either Prince George and Trail could jump into a playoff spot with a victory. If West Kelowna wins Tuesday, then Trail will be able to leapfrog Merritt for 4th in the Interior on Thursday. Coquitlam is the team to pass for Prince George, and they won’t be in action until Friday against Victoria. Prince George briefly held a playoff spot this year following their tie against Merritt, but lost that as soon as Wenatchee rolled in with their first win. Following the match against Trail, Coquitlam will have two games in hand over Prince George, and if they are looking up in the standings it will put some extra pressure on the Express.


Prince George: Hunter Luhmann – He got into some penalty trouble against the Merritt Centennials, but Luhmann has improved with each game he has played for Prince George. Joining a new team and being thrown into new systems isn’t easy, but Luhmann seems to have become a good linemate along with fellow winger Jarod Hovde. Neither are afraid to go into the dirty areas for the puck, and they are both searching for their first goals of the season.

Trail Smoke Eaters: Luke Santerno – Playing just one game against the Spruce Kings last year, Santerno made it count scoring the game winning goal in a 5-2 win. He currently leads Trail with three goals and five assists in six games. In his two games at the Showcase Santerno had four points including three against the Grizzlies.