The Trail Smoke Eaters used a two-goal comeback to help them out of an eight-game winless stretch as they picked up a 4-3 shootout victory over the Surrey Eagles on Sunday evening at the South Surrey Arena.
Owen Ozar and Kent Johnson each scored in the shootout while Trail killed off a big penalty in overtime to help them to the one-goal victory over the Eagles in a shootout and helped end an eight-game losing skid for the Smoke Eaters and close their road trip on a high note.
The Eagles were first to hit the scoreboard in the opening period, scoring on their first goal of the game at the 2:58 mark as affiliate player Nick Marini collected his first BCHL tally. Riley Hayles took the shot from the right face-off circle that was fended off by goaltender Tanner Marshall with the rebound being put in off the stick of Marini for the 1-0 Surrey lead early in the frame.
The Smoke Eaters started to gain offensive zone time and got the better of the Eagles in the shots on goal category of the opening frame but could not beat Eagles netminder Cayden Bailey, who made stops on all 11 shots he faced in the frame. Tanner Marshall turned aside 5 of the 6 shots he faced in the opening 20 minutes of action.
Trail quickly had a response early in the 2nd period and tied the game at one just under two minutes into the middle stanza. Braeden Tuck shot from the right side, which was met with a glove side by Bailey with the puck popping behind him and Owen Ozar jamming it across the goal line. Ozar collected his 3rd goal of the season and tied the game 1-1 at the 1:58 mark of the 2nd period.
Chase Stevenson was quick to restore the Surrey lead at the 3:14 mark of the middle period as he took a pass from Ty Westgard just inside of the Smoke Eaters end of the ice and moved to his backhand at the edge of the right face-off circle before beating Marshall on the glove side and giving the Eagles a 2-1 advantage.
Surrey opened up a two-goal lead at the 6:05 mark of the period on a deflected puck from the left face-off circle. Brendan Winslow knuckled a puck toward the goal that was knocked down by Max Mohagen and past Marshall. The referees came together to discuss a possible high stick but the goal stood and gave Surrey a 3-1 lead and was the night for Marshall as Adam Marcoux came on in relief.
The captain got the Smoke Eaters within a goal late in the 2nd frame at the 17:36 mark to make the score 3-2. Kent Johnson got the puck in the slot and held to the left-wing face-off circle before throwing the puck on goal with a left pad save being made by Bailey but Braeden Tuck collecting the rebound and pushing it past the glove side of Bailey for his 9th goal of the season to get the game within a goal heading into the 3rd period.
Trail was able to get the game even around the halfway mark of the 3rd period as Carter Jones took advantage of an Eagles turnover right in front of the net. Jake Toor brought the puck ahead before fumbling it right in front of his crease as Jones pounced on the puck and beat Bailey on the blocker side for his 6th goal of the season and tying the game at three, eventually forcing overtime.
The Smoke Eaters battled through overtime, with Johnson being robbed from the left side on a great stop by Bailey before the Eagles got a power play with 1:49 remaining in the extra frame. Adam Marcoux was solid in the period while Powell Connor made some big defensive plays to get into a shootout.
Ozar banked a puck in off the post before Johnson deked from his forehand to his backhand to end the shootout while Marcoux stopped both of the shooters he faced in to help the Smoke Eaters to the win.
Tanner Marshall started the game, stopping 9 of the 12 shots he faced in the game before Adam Marcoux came on in relief, turning aside all 20 shots he faced for his 6th win of the season. Cayden Bailey stopped 32 of the 35 shots thrown his way in the defeat.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Smoke Eaters (SO)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 35-32 Smoke Eaters
SMOKE EATERS PP: 0/3
SMOKE EATERS PK: 5/5
1) Riley Hayles (1-1-2)
2) Braeden Tuck (1-1-2)
3) Ty Westgard (0-1-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Matthew McKim (0-1-1)
The Smoke Eaters (8-10-3-1) return home for a Friday night showdown against the Mainland Division’s Coquitlam Express (14-6-1-0) at the Trail Memorial Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Smoke Eaters Main Office.