Smoke Eaters in the 1940's

1939-40 Trail Smoke EatersIn 1939-40, the Smokies won 23 of 27 games to win the league championship. Bunny Dame, Ab Cronie and Joe Benoit finished 1-2-3 in league scoring.

The team won the provincial championship again (Savage Cup) in 1940-41.

1947-48 Trail Smoke Eaters were the last to play in the old rinkBecause of World War II, the West Kootenay Hockey League suspended operations from 1942-45. The league was revived in 1945-46 and the Smoke Eaters, coached by Jimmy Morris, won the Savage Cup. Mike Buckna and Ab Cronie finished first and second in the league for scoring.

The Western International Hockey League was formed in 1946-47. The Smokies won the Savage Cup in 1947-48 and 1948-49. Among the top Trail scorers in the late 1940's were Dave Nichol, Frank Turik and Terry Cavanaugh.



Trail Smoke Eaters - B.C. Champs, 1946-47(Pictured right)
Back Row: Jim Anderson, Dave Nicol,
Don Menzies, Emil Kwasney, Ab Cronie,
Ralph Luke, Hedley Marshall,
Ron Gardner, Larry Kwong.
Front Row: Ed Crowder, Les Christensen,
Bill Waddell, Duke Scodellero,
Jim Morris, Mike Buckna.
Larry Kwong [back row, far right] was one of the first Chinese-Canadians to play hockey in a high-level league.  Kwong played one game in the NHL with the New York Rangers.