The Trail Smoke Eaters battled hard with a strong 3rd period effort but fell just short in a 3-2 loss to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks in the first of a weekend doubleheader on Friday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.
Both teams opened the game well defensively and saw the opening period go without a goal as the game was 0-0 after the first 20 minutes. Adam Marcoux was on his game in the 1st period, stopping all 11 shots he faced in the frame while Ethan Langenegger turned side all 8 shots thrown his way in the opening frame.
Chase Stevenson had the best opportunity to score for the home side in the opening 20 minutes, coming on Trail’s first shot of the game. The Smoke Eaters forward drove the net on the right-wing side and let a wrist shot go on the blocker side of Ethan Langenegger with the save being made but the puck dribbled behind him before Cole Nisse came back and swept the puck out of the crease to keep the game scoreless.
The Silverbacks would be first to find the back of the net on a turnover through the neutral zone as Salmon Arm brought the puck back the other way with Ethan Schaeffer working down the right side and sending a puck to the blocker side where Nikolas Sombrowski shot past Marcoux for his first career BC Hockey League goal to give the ‘Backs a 1-0 lead at the 3:12 mark of the middle stanza.
Trail started to bring some good pressure as the period went along and eventually were able to find the back of the net on a deflection courtesy of a power play to tie the score at the 12:55 mark of the 2nd frame. Diarmad DiMurro had plenty of time and space from the left point as he walked in a let a shot go that was deflected in front by Tyler Ghirardosi for his 11th tally of the season and tied the game at 1-1.
Salmon Arm was able to get ahead before the period was out and catch the Smoke Eaters on an extended shift inside their own zone as Trevor Adams gave the visitors their second lead of the game at the 15:42 mark. Adams cut his way out from the left-wing corner and chipped the puck through the blocker side of Marcoux to give the Silverbacks a 2-1 advantage heading into the 3rd period of play.
21 seconds into the 3rd period, Matthew Verboon got the Silverbacks ahead by a goal with the eventual game winning goal coming early in the frame. Aiden Jenner sent the puck from the left side across to the right-wing where Verboon one-timed a shot past the glove side of Marcoux to extend the Salmon Arm advantage to 3-1.
The Smoke Eaters chipped away at the lead and got to within a goal at the 4:20 mark of the final period on a nice passing play. Trevor Zins left the puck on the right-wing for a skating Chase Stevenson who spotted Hayden Rowan open on the left as he shot past the blocker side of Langenegger for his 16th goal of the season and getting within a goal
Trail continued to press in the 3rd period, putting 15 shots on the Salmon Arm goal but Ethan Langenegger but he stood tall, making 30 saves on 32 shots in his 17th victory of the season. Adam Marcoux stopped 30 of the 33 pucks thrown his way in his 22nd defeat of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Silverbacks
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33-32 Silverbacks
SMOKE EATERS PP: 1/2
SMOKE EATERS PK: 3/3
1) Hayden Rowan (1-0-1)
2) Ethan Langenegger (30 saves on 32 shots)
3) Nikolas Sombrowski (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Diarmad DiMurro (0-1-1)
The Smoke Eaters (19-23-7-3) continue their six-game home stand and conclude their doubleheader matchup against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (26-20-4-1) on Parent’s Weekend at the Trail Memorial Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM with tickets available at the Smoke Eaters Main Office as well as at the door ahead of the opening puck drop.