Game Time: 7pm
Season Series: (Vees 4-0-0-0) 3-1 Vees Sept 26th, 6-2 Vees Nov 1st, 3-1 Vees Dec 3rd, 6-3 Vees Jan 17th, Jan 30th at Penticton, Jan 31st at Trail, Feb 14th at Penticton
Vees Home Record: 19-2-1-0
Vees Record vs. Interior Division: 21-6-1-0
Vees Leading Scorer: Lewis Zerter-Gossage 17-24-41
Trail Smoke Eaters Road Record: 5-16-0-2
Trail Smoke Eaters Record vs. Interior Division: 5-18-0-1
Silverbacks Leading Scorer: Charlie Zuccarini 27-29-56
*Annual Valley First Feed the Valley night at the SOEC. Fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to the SOEC. Donations going to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank. Details
The Penticton Vees look to push their win streak to five when they host the Trail Smoke Eaters at the SOEC tonight. It’s the annual Valley First Feed the Valley Night, as fans are encouraged to bring a non-perishable food item to donate to the Penticton Salvation Army Food Bank.
The Vees started off the week with a win Wednesday, squeaking out a 1-0 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. Tyson Jost scored the game’s only goal and the game-winner late in the first period and Hunter Miska stopped all 19 shots he faced for his league-leading fifth shutout.
Trail comes in riding a three-game losing streak after being swept on their Mainland Division road trip last weekend. The Smokies lost a wild 8-7 overtime affair in Chilliwack Friday, were edged 3-2 in Langley Saturday and Sunday fell 5-2 to the Coquitlam Express. The worst news out of the weekend though was the team losing leading scorer Charlie Zuccarini (27-29-56) for the remainder of the BCHL season due to suspension. Zuccarini is suspended for the balance of the BCHL season after receiving a match penalty for abuse of an official on Sunday. The league office levied the suspension after Zuccarini struck the referee with his stick in Coquitlam. More information on the suspension here.
Trail’s in the role of spoiler, as they look to be a hard out down the stretch for those contending for a playoff spot. They’re not going to go quietly as the Vees found out two weeks ago. Penticton had to come back from deficits of 2-1 and 3-2, en route to a 6-3 win in Trail on January 17th. The Vees are 4-0-0 against Trail this season and 2-0-0 at the SOEC. In fact, tonight’s matchup pits the BCHL’s best home team (19-2-1-0) against a team with the second fewest road wins in the league (5-16-0-2). Trail did snap a 10-game road losing streak 10 days ago, surprising the Merritt Centennials 5-4 in Merritt on January 20th. Before that, they hadn’t won a road game since November 21st; they’re 1-11-0-2 in their last 14 away from Cominco Arena.
Brendan Barry will likely spell off Hunter Miska in goal, who has started the Vees last seven games. If he does start,this would be Barry’s first start since January 7th when he backstopped the Vees to a 5-2 win over the Express. Barry is 10-1 on the season with a stingy 1.93 goals-against average and a tidy .913 save-percentage.
The two teams reconvene in Trail tomorrow night for the back half of this weekend home-and-home clash. After this weekend, the seventh and final meeting in the season series is set for February 14th in Trail. The Vees have won 11 straight over Trail dating back to March of 2013.
Trail’s last win at the SOEC was on March 1st, 2013 when they won 3-2 in overtime; they’re 0-6-0-0 since and have been outscored 27-12 in those six games at the SOEC.