Wenatchee Wild goalie Daniel Chenard makes the stop on this attempt by Tyler Ghirardosi early in the first period.

Paler-Chow backstops Smoke Eaters to win over Wenatchee Wild

Smoke Eater Tyler Ghirardosi scores the game winner in a close 3-1 victory over the Wenatchee Wild

Matteo Paler-Chow made 34 stops and Tyler Ghirardosi scored twice including the game winner as the Trail Smoke Eaters won their 2oth game of the season in a 3-1 victory over Interior Division rival Wenatchee Wild.

The Smoke Eaters broke a four-game losing streak on Wednesday at the Cominco Arena, thanks to a power-play goal by Ghirardosi with 11:49 remaining. The score was tied 1-1 when Max Kryski worked the puck down low to Carson Briere who circled then made a slick back pass to Ghirardosi at the left dot, and the Montrose native fired it past Wild goalie Daniel Chenard for a 2-1 lead.

“This is huge,” said Ghirardosi. “We were on a four game skid and missing four of our top guys, and that win really makes us believe that we can do it without them. And doing it at home, there’s a lot confidence in that room right now.”

Trail forwards Owen Ozar, Kent Johnson, and Philippe Lapointe and d-man Powell Connor helped Team Canada West to a 1-0 win over Russia Wednesday at the World Jr. A Challenge in Dawson Creek, and will be away from the team until next week. They were undoubtedly missed in Trail’s three losses against the top three Mainland division teams, Coquitlam, Langley and Chilliwack last weekend, but Trail coach and GM Jeff Tambellini refuses to make excuses.

Related read: Shorthanded Trail Smoke Eaters end rough road trip

Related read: Team Canada West loads up on Smoke Eaters

“We went through a very difficult trip, against the best team in the league especially at home, and a tough three games in two days with a short roster,” said Smoke Eaters head coach and GM Jeff Tambellini. “So yeah we knew we were going to face something like that with four superstars out of your line up, but the guys responded and played a great game tonight.”

Trail defenceman Jameson Murray opened the scoring at 8:26 of the first period, blasting a point shot through a Chase Dafoe screen for a 1-0 lead on the power play. Trail outshot the Wild 14-11 in the opening frame, but early penalties changed the momentum in the second period. Wild forward Harrison Scott tied the game, winning the battle on a bouncing puck and backhanding it past a screened Paler-Chow for the tying goal at 12:18.

Trail didn’t register their 15th shot until 11:24 of second period, but Paler-Chow was solid in the Smokies net denying Wenatchee on a number of occasions including a spectacular glove save off Wild forward Brett Chorske on the doorstep with six seconds left in the period to keep the game even at one.

The teams traded chances in the third period, until Ghirardosi buried his game winner, then scored the insurance marker, his 16th of the season, with 2:06 to play.

“It was a nice play by Mikey (Colella) he gave it to me, I made one move and had a wide open net,” said Ghirardosi.

Smoke Eaters fans also got a look at the two new additions in Briere and defenceman Kyle Pow, who joined the Smokies for last weekend’s road trip, but played their first game at home Wednesday. The changing line up has been a challenge, but the Smoke Eaters are making the necessary adjustments.

“Everyone’s been on new lines ever since those guys left, and we got two new guys, so everyone is adjusting,” said Ghirardosi. “We’re doing a good job now. It was kind of scrambley at first but now we’re starting to get in a groove.”

Paler-Chow’s excellent play is another bright spot for Trail, and will compliment counterpart Logan Terness down the stretch.

“He’s been fantastic,” said Tambellini. “He was outstanding on Saturday, came in and played a great third period on Sunday. He deserved the start, he is fighting for his ice, and doing a great job.”

Wenatchee outshot Trail 10-6 in the third and 35-31 overall, but Trail’s special teams were better on the night going 1-for-7 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.

“There’s going to be momentum swings in any game, but our penalty killers really stepped up,” said Tambellini. “We needed them to have a big night and our veteran guys got it done tonight, and that’s what got us the win.”

Paler-Chow earned the game’s first star, Max Kryski second star, and Wild goalie Chenard third star. Ghirardosi was named Energy Player of the Game.

Wins against their Interior Division rivals are crucial for playoff positioning and ultimately gaining home-ice advantage in the playoffs, and 18 of the Smoke Eaters’ final 22 games are against Interior teams. The 20-12-2-1-1 Smokies are currently in second place in the division, seven points behind the 25-9-1-0 Penticton Vees, and will face-off against division rivals West Kelowna Warriors Friday night, ringing in the festive season with their annual Teddy Bear Toss. The Smoke Eaters then travel to Salmon Arm on Sunday for a game against the Silverbacks.

“It’s a good test, West Kelowna’s going to be good on Friday night, we’re going to have a busy building with the Teddy Bear Toss, so that’s a big one for us,” added Tambellini. “Then another great test and hopefully get some more ground on Salmon Arm.”

The Smoke Eaters encourage fans to bring stuffed toys, socks, and/or tuques wrapped in plastic bags for the Teddy Bear Toss on Friday. The puck drop for the Trail-West K game goes at 7 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here


The referee signals good goal on Tyler Ghirardosi’s game winner.

Comments are closed

Just Posted

COVID-19: Should non-medical masks be mandatory in Canada?

New poll shows Canadians are divided on the rules around mandatory masks

Rosslanders celebrate Canada Day in style

Locals organized a museum scavenger hunt, a Mt. Roberts flag-raising ceremony and evening fireworks

Hwy 1 flooding causes massive delays on certain Arrow Lakes ferry routes

Motorists have been waiting around three hours to get on ferries

Rossland Museum and Discovery Centre expands operations online

The facility also opened back up to the public earlier in June

Rossland’s Sourdough Alley a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

Rossland’s earliest thoroughfare was once derided as a ‘muddy collection of shacks’

B.C. accommodators need phone lines to light up as in-province travel given green light

Travel restrictions during the COVID-19 pandemic have decimated the tourism and hospitality industries

300 Cache Creek residents on evacuation alert due to flood risk as river rises

Heavy rainfall on Canada Day has river rising steadily, threatening 175 properties

First glimpse of Canada’s true COVID-19 infection rate expected mid-July

At least 105,000 Canadians have tested positive for COVID-19 since the coronavirus was identified

Police ramp up efforts to get impaired drivers off B.C. roads this summer

July is dedicated to the Summer CounterAttack Impaired Driving Campaign

Migrant workers stage multi-city action for full status amid COVID-19 risks

‘COVID-19 has exacerbated an existing crisis’

Okanagan school drops ‘Rebels’ sports team name, citing links with U.S. Civil War

Name and formerly-used images “fly in the face” of the district’s human rights policy, says board chair

PHOTOS: B.C.’s top doc picks up personalized Fluevog shoes, tours mural exhibition

Murals of Gratitude exhibit includes at least one portrait of Henry alongside paintings of health-care workers

In troubled times: Independence Day in a land of confusion

Buffeted by invisible forces and just plain worn out, the United States of America celebrates its 244th birthday

Stop enforcing sex work laws during COVID-19, advocates say

There are provisions in Canada’s prostitution laws that make workers immune from prosecution, but not from arrest

Most Read