VERNON, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters used a 37-save performance from Adam Marcoux and timely power play goals in the 2nd period to help them to their third straight victory, earning a 3-1 win over the Vernon Vipers on Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.
A five-minute major penalty to Jesse Lansdell in the second period was the turning point in the game as the Smoke Eaters power play struck twice while Adam Marcoux turned aside 37 of the 38 shots he faced in helping Trail to their first victory in Vernon since October 26th, 2016.
The Vipers were first to find the scoresheet in the opening period as Alex Swetlikoff tipped in a pass from Ben Helgeson from the left face-off circle at the top of the crease to give the Vipers the first lead of the game at the 17:33 mark of the opening period.
Vernon outshot Trail by a 14-6 margin in the opening period and had a decided advantage in play but Smoke Eater netminder Adam Marcoux was very strong in net, turning away 13 of the 14 shots he faced to keep the Smoke Eaters in the game, trailing by just a goal into the 2nd period.
The game changed around the midway point of the 2nd period with Vernon, already on a penalty kill, received a bigger blow as Jesse Lansdell checked Trevor Zins from behind and was given a five-minute major penalty and a game misconduct. That put Trail on a 5-on-3-man advantage, where the Smoke Eaters would tie the game.
Diarmad Dimurro slotted a pass to the right-wing point for Jeremy Smith, who blasted a one-timer past the blocker side of Viper goaltender Aiden Porter for his 2nd tally of the season and got the game knotted at 1-1 at the 7:53 mark of the 2nd period. It was the first of a two-point night for the veteran rearguard.
Just 31 seconds later, on the major power play, the Smoke Eaters took their first lead of the game at the 8:24 mark of the middle stanza. Kent Johnson ducked behind the Viper goal and threw a no-look, behind the back pass to Levi Glasman at the blocker side, who tapped in his 3rd goal of the season and gave Trail a 2-1 lead.
The Smoke Eaters completed a string of three-unanswered goals moments after the power play came to an end at the 12:25 mark as Smith flipped a pass down ice from his own blue line into the Vernon zone where Tyler Ghirardosi raced down the loose puck and flipped it over the glove side of Porter from the goal line for his 1st goal of the season and extend the lead to 3-1.
The 3rd period saw a strong defensive front put on by the Smoke Eaters, not allowing Vernon to have opportunities to get back into the game, which was helped by Marcoux’s nine final frame saves to help the Smoke Eaters to a 3-1 victory.
Adam Marcoux turned aside 37 of the 38 shots he faced in the game for his third victory of the season while Aiden Porter stopped 21 of the 24 shots thrown his way for his second loss of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-1 Smoke Eaters
SHOTS ON GOAL: 38-24 Vipers
SMOKE EATERS PP: 2/4
SMOKE EATERS PK: 1/1
1) Jeremy Smith (1-1-2)
2) Alex Swetlikoff (1-0-1)
3) Tyler Ghirardosi (1-0-1)