By Andrew Chernoff, CanucksBanter
September 17, 2022
The 5-0 loss Saturday night for Trail was another high scoring, one sided exhibition game, with discipline issues and defensive breakdowns for the Smokies.
The Smoke Eaters and Bucks played to a scoreless opening period and had 8 shots apiece, and entering the first period intermission Trail had to believe a weekend split with its Kootenay rival was still possible.
In the second period the Bucks opened the scoring for the second consecutive game; the third time in four games the Smokies allowed the opening goal of a contest.
Unlike Friday night the Smoke Eaters did not answer quickly, and in the last half of the period —-Cranbrook, for the second game in a row—-broke the game wide open with reckless abandon, scoring four goals in 3:06, to enter the intermission with an intimidating 5-0 lead.
Hopes at salvaging a weekend split were fading for the Smokies.
The final period saw no goals from either team as the Bucks took their foot off the gas pedal, and the Smoke Eaters were too busy filling the penalty box instead of the Cranbrook net in the last half of the period.
The Trail Smoke Eaters inconsistent play on offense and lack of answers to stop the offensive barrage they faced in the preseason, is disconcerting to say the least.
Shifting people in and out of the lineup when the roster should be pretty much determined for opening weekend of the season, is not a good sign for a team that walked its way into the playoffs last season because of the play of Merritt and the BCHL playoff system.
- Smokies were outshot in the Pre-Season 165 to 115; 126 to 78 in the final two periods
- Trail was outscored 18-13 in their four games, and outscored in the last two periods 13-10
- Smoke Eaters power play was a dismal 1 for 10 in Pre-Season
- Penalty Kill was very good in Pre-Season at 13 for 18: 72.2 percent