The Salmon Arm Silverbacks defeated the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-2 in a mid-week match up on Wednesday (March 1).
Silverbacks forward Casy Laylin scored his first of two on the night, tallying the game winner 6:54 into the second period to give the home team a 3-1 lead.
The Interior Conference win was big for the 25-16-4-1 Silverbacks as they keep pace with the third place West Kelowna Warriors (26-16-4-0), trailing their rival by just one point.
Trail, still hampered by injury, dressed four affiliate players and 11 forwards. On the positive side, the Smoke Eaters welcomed the return of Max Potvin into the line up after missing three weeks with injury. Still on the injured list are forwards Ethan Mann, Trey Fechko, Adam Marshall, Ridge Dawson, and Rhett Hamilton and defenceman Ethan Warrener.
With the loss, Trail at 17-23-3-3 maintains the eighth and final playoff spot in the Interior with eight games remaining.
Trail got off to a good start with Jordan Hendry opening the scoring 21 seconds into the first period.
However, Salmon Arm’s Nathan Mackie scored a power play goal at 14:55 and Raoul Boilard made it 2-1 with 4:37 to play in the period. Salmon Arm dominated on home ice outshooting Trail 15-6 and carried the momentum into the middle frame.
Laylin scored his second of the night with 1:27 to play in the second period to make it 4-1.
Trail forward Mathieu Cobetto-Roy brought the Smoke Eaters within one with a power play goal with five minutes remaining, but an emptynetter by Mackie sealed the 5-2 victory for the Silverbacks.
Salmon Arm outshot Trail 35-18, and went 2-for-4 on the power play, while the Smoke Eaters were 1-for-1.
Trail is at home this weekend for a tilt against the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday at 7 p.m. and a likely preview of the first round of the BCHL playoff against Penticton Vees, Saturday at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre.
• On Friday, the Smoke Eaters will roll out the Smoke Eaters Baby Races to determine the fastest baby in the Kootenays, and in the second intermission will announce the top three schools who participated in the Murphy Family Foundation Smokies in Our Schools.
Local schools helped pack the Cominco Arena on their designated game nights in hopes of receiving a generous donation from the Murphy Family Foundation.
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