The Trail Smoke Eaters opened their exhibition season on the weekend with games against the Wenatchee Wild, and will wrap it up on Friday in Vernon against the Vipers. Jim Bailey photo.

Trail Smoke Eaters drop preseason matches to Wenatchee Wild

The Wenatchee Wild are already proving a tough division opponent with wins over the Smoke Eaters.

The Wenatchee Wild swept the Trail Smoke Eaters in BCHL exhibition play on the weekend.

Following the wrap up of the Smoke Eaters camp Thursday, a Trail team of about 25 skaters travelled south of the border on Friday to play essentially four two-period games to give new recruits an extra look.

Trail fell 4-0 and 4-2 on Saturday after 5-2 and 1-0 losses on Friday, and as expected, the Wild proved that as regular season champs, they will carry on where they left off last season.

In the first period of Friday’s first game, the Wild’s Josh Arnold scored his second goal of the weekend at 10:14. Jackson Wozniak made it 2-0 at 4:22 of the second, and at 9:28 Cooper Zech wired a shot through traffic for a 3-0 Wild lead.

AJ Vanderbeck collected a power play goal at 12:24, his second goal and fourth point of the weekend for the final 4-0 margin. Seth Eisele stopped all 15 Trail shots, while Wenatchee fired 30 at Trail goalie Brandon Wells.

In the nightcap, Wenatchee fell behind for the first time of the weekend on an Andre Ghantous goal at 13:14 of the first period. However, Wenatchee’s Sam Hesler knotted it back up at 16:10, and the game was tied 1-1 after 1, with Wenatchee holding a shot advantage of 20-3.

At 2:10 of the second, Lucas Sowder put the Wild up to stay, and Sam Morton added some insurance at 9:12. Trail closed to within a goal on Ghantous’ second goal of the night, but in the final minute, Daniel Chladek sealed the win with a short-handed empty netter for a 4-2 Wild victory. Wenatchee outshot Trail 47-10 in the final two periods of the weekend, with Jacob Acton stopping 8 of 10 shots for the Wild, and Trail’s Tanner Marshall stopping 42 shots for the Smoke Eaters.

In Friday’s opening game Kale Howarth and Levi Glasman, both Red Deer products, scored for Trail.

Trail wraps up its preseason in Vernon on Friday with a game against the Vipers.

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