The Westside Warriors continue to have the Trail Smoke Eaters number this season. The Warriors beat the Smokies for the fourth time in four meetings, pounding the hometown Smokies 7-1 Tuesday night. It was the Warriors first game back after a 10-day Christmas break. The Warriors showed no ill effects of the break grabbing a 2-0 lead before many of the 1,380 fans at the Cominco Arena had found their seats. Alex Grieve opened the scoring with his 20th of the season 33 seconds into the contest. Grieve pounced on a loose rebound and slid the puck under the right pad of Kiefer Smiley after a blast from Matt Maher. Just 55 seconds later, Tyler Brickler netted his 16th of the season to make it 2-0 on a beautiful wraparound attempt. Dru Morrison with his first of two on the night made it 3-0 before the end of the first.
That would be it for Smiley as he was replaced by rookie Matt LaRose in net for Trail. Grayson Downing, in his first game back in over a month, scored a pair of shorthanded goals while Shawn Hochhausen with a single rounded out the Warriors scoring. Peter MacIntosh and Matt Maher both chipped in with a pair of assists. Sam Mellor ruined Kevin Boyle’s bid for his first shutout of the season with a power-play marker late in the second. Boyle turned aside 19 shots in posting his 13th win of the season. The win vaulted the Warriors into sole possession of third spot in the Interior Conference, two points better than Salmon Arm, just a point behind second place Vernon and four back of Penticton. Westside will play in Penticton against the conference leading Vees this Friday at 6pm. The Warriors don’t return home until Jan. 7 when they host the Vernon Vipers in the first half of a home-and-home series.