The Powell River Kings gave Trail hockey fans a glimpse of why they’re the top contenders for the BCHL’s throne this season.
Last night at the Cominco Arena, the Kings controlled the play and the scoreboard en route to a 5-3 win.
Nic DeSousa, Cullen Bradshaw and Ben Matthews had the Trail goals.
Powell River played a solid road game highlighted by a late goal in the first and quick goals in the second.
At the other end the stingy defence was backed by goaltender Michael Gartieg who came up big when called upon the few times.
The Kings took control in the second period scoring twice in a 34-second span to grab a 4-1 lead on goals from Dan Shuler and former Fernie Ghostrider Brendan Hawryluk.
Hawryluk’s goal, a floater from the blueline, prompted Trail coach Jim Ingram to call a timeout.
The Smokies picked up the pace and had a golden opportunity to cut into the deficit with 86 seconds of a two-man advantage.
However, it would be Powell River’s Craig Darymple getting the best chance on a breakaway only to be stopped by Smiley.
Trail finally scored on the power play later in the period when Matthews wristed a point shot past Gartieg with three minutes left in the middle frame.
Justin Dasilva made it 5-2 with a deflected shot from the point early in the third. DeSousa replied for Trail in the waning minutes.
Powell River took a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes with most of the action boiling down to the final two minutes.
The Kings held a 1-0 lead on Matt Garbowski’s goal three minutes into the game but things heated up in the final moments.
Bradshaw found the back of the Powell River net 30 seconds into a power play opportunity with one minute and 22 seconds in the opening frame.
The Kings showed their talent by responding with 27 seconds left when Shuler’s quick shot off a Trail turnover beat Smiley.
While Powell River continues its Interior trip with games in Vernon and Penticton on the weekend, Trail must prepare for a tough divisional battle with Salmon Arm Saturday at the Cominco Arena.
The team is back on the ice Sunday when they host the Coquitlam Express.