Silverbacks pull off third-period comeback against Trail

Smokies lose 3-2 to Salmon Arm

The hockey Gods have not been kind to the Trail Smoke Eaters of late, as another point was ripped from their clutches in a last minute 3-2 loss to Salmon Arm on Wednesday.

The victory over Trail was the Salmon Arm Silverbacks sixth win in a row, which included a 3-0 shutout over league-leading Penticton Vees on Saturday and a 7-1 drubbing of West Kelowna Warriors last Friday.  Silverback forward Bryden Marsh provided the heroics when he redirected a Riley Booth point shot past Smoke Eater goalie Brett Clark with 1:48 to play in regulation for the 3-2 victory at the Shaw Centre in Salmon Arm.

The goal spoiled a solid performance from Clark who faced 40 shots. The win puts the Silverbacks (16-13-3-5) just two points behind the Merritt Centennials for the final playoff spot in the Interior division.

“We competed, I mean I can’t be disappointed at all with our effort,” said Trail Smoke Eater coach and GM Nick Deschenes. “We had a lead going into the third, we got the goaltending we needed, we were playing with an edge, and we were battling.”

After a scoreless first period, Trail jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Bryan Basilico scoring his ninth of the season with assists to Jeremy Lucchini and Harlan Orr. Craig Martin, in his first game back since suffering a lower body injury against Coquitlam Nov. 15, put the Smokies up 2-0 when he tipped in a Robert Johnson shot, but the Smokies couldn’t hold the lead as the Silverbacks struck for three straight goals to hand Trail its fourth loss in a row.

“They definitely took momentum over in the last half of the game and I thought we could have done a better job managing that . . . You have to control your fate a little bit better, whether the first minute of the game or the last minute of the game, you really have to have the same intensity and approach.”

Marsh started the comeback at 13:55 of the middle frame when he beat Clark  to draw the Silverbacks within one. Then after Johnson was called for tripping, the Silverbacks Carson Bolduc would score  at 7:24 of the third period with one second remaining on the power play to tie it at two.

The Smokies had a chance to go ahead when Salmon Arm’s Phil Middleton took a holding penalty with  seven minutes remaining but the power play couldn’t get one by Zach Dyment or score in the final 108 seconds when Clark was pulled for an extra attacker.

Despite the loss, it was a good bounce back game for the Smokies after being overwhelmed by Vernon on the weekend in a 6-4 loss. But the Silverback victory may have been the dagger in the Smokies playoff hopes as they now sit 12 points back of Salmon Arm and 14 points out of the fourth-and-final playoff spot.

“It’s probably more disappointing because we really need these wins. We’re not in the middle of the pack, where we can afford these. Things have to go our way. But until you’re mathematically out, I mean any team above us can slump and we can do the opposite because we really are in all these games”

In the last four matches, Trail carried three leads into the third period, and were tied with Vernon with five minutes left in the other game, but could not manage a point. For the Smokies the compete factor is there, but the results are elusive.

“I think we are really close,” said Trail assistant captain Jake Lucchini. “We’re losing one goal games, and two goal games which is tough but hopefully we’ll  overcome those soon.”

The Smoke Eaters play Alberni Valley Bulldogs tonight before heading to Merritt to take on the Centennials on Saturday. Alberni (18-13-1-3) is holding down the fouth playoff spot in the Island division two points back of Victoria, and beat the Smoke Eaters 5-3 in their trip to the Island Oct. 11.

“They played us extremely well. I think they play a little different at home than on the road. We’ve got a lot bigger ice surface and I think we’ll be sure to take advantage of that and be comfortable back at home. The last time at home we got a win so hopefully we can bring the same excitement and energy to the building . . . then we’ll have a chance to redeem ourselves against Merritt on Saturday in another huge four-point game.”

Face off is 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Cominco Arena.


Just Posted

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

BC senior curling championship slides into Trail

The Trail Curling Association hosts 16 men’s and women’s teams in the senior provincial championship

Snoopy shows up in snowy Silver City

What You See: If you have a recent photo to share email (large size please) to

‘Our entire municipality is heartbroken’: Seven children die in Halifax house fire

A man and woman remained in hospital Tuesday afternoon, the man with life-threatening injuries

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Minister says plans to fight poverty, climate change, focus of B.C. budget

The NDP said in its throne speech last week that affordability will be the hallmark of its initiatives

Make sure measles shots up to date, Public Health Agency says

Measles causes high fever, coughing, sneezing and a widespread painful rash

Bomb threats, gunfire, kidnapping: Drug war rocks Kamloops

Kamloops RCMP battles a series of violent events

B.C. hotel trashes Channing Tatum in favour of Ryan Reynolds

Tatum’s picture left in recycling bin, replaced with photo of Ryan Reynolds

B.C. firefighters rescue bear cub stuck up a tree

Family Day was eventful for cub, firefighters

Payless to close 248 Canadian stores, saying it’s ‘ill-equipped’ for market

The company will begin closing stores at the end of March

Most Read