BCHL: Smokies net first win

The Trail Smoke Eaters picked up its first two points of the season Friday toppling the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3 in overtime.

The Trail Smoke Eaters picked up its first two points of the season Friday toppling the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3 in overtime, before going down to the Merritt Centennials 6-2 on Saturday.

Trail captain Garrett McMullen scored twice including the OT winner, when he corralled a clearing attempt and rifled a wrist shot past startled Spruce Kings goalie Liam McLeod.

Prince George jumped out into a 2-0 lead, but the Smokies responded on McMullen’s first goal of the night, as he blasted in a behind the net pass from Scotty Davidson to make it 2-1.

The Kings would make it 3-1 heading into the third, but an inspiring five-on-three penalty kill by Trail  at the beginning of the period, gave them confidence.

Tanner Clarkson stepped up and put the Smokies within one a minute after the penalty kill, and Shane Poulsen tied it mid-way through the third before McMullen would end it in overtime.

While the Smokies didn’t generate any goals on three power play opportunities, their PK was much improved, as the Kings went 0-for-6 with the man advantage.

Lyndon Stanwood got the start in net and the victory, stopping 28 shots, while Trail fired 24 at McLeod. Poulsen was named the games first star and McMullen the game’s second star.

However, success on the penalty kills seen in Prince George, seemed to abandon Trail on Saturday as the Centennials  capitalized on 3-of-8 for the 6-2 victory.

McMullen opened the scoring with his fourth of the season, but the Cents would score five unanswered goals before Brandon Egli added his first of the season on assists from Tyler Berkoltz and new acquisition Connor Collett late in the third period.

Former Smoke Eater Dane Birks scored twice and picked up an assist for Merritt, and was named first star as the Cents outshot the Smokies 41-31. Stanwood took the loss in goal but was named the game’s third star.

Trail plays its first home game on Friday against the West Kelowna Warriors at 7:30 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre.