Trail Smoke Eaters forward Dallas Calvin is stopped by Salmon Arm goalie Angus Redmond on this third-period attempt

Trail Smoke Eaters forward Dallas Calvin is stopped by Salmon Arm goalie Angus Redmond on this third-period attempt

Smoke Eaters drop pair to Interior-division rivals

The Trail Smoke Eaters confirmed what everyone expected; the BCHL’s Interior division will be one heck of a hard place to play this season.

The Trail Smoke Eaters confirmed what everyone expected; the BCHL’s Interior division will be one heck of a hard place to play this season.

Despite two good efforts, the Smokies suffered a 3-1 loss to the Penticton Vees Friday and a 4-2 setback to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks Saturday.

“Every team in our division it’s going to be a game like this, it’s going to be a battle,” said Smoke Eater assistant coach Barry Zanier. “There’s no easy games.”

Over 1,000 fans attended Friday’s home opener against Penticton and just under that on Saturday against Salmon Arm to see a Smokies team loaded with speed and skill, but icing seven rookies who are still adapting to what is likely the most competitive division in the BCHL.

“I think that’s one thing the new kids, the rookies, they are going to have to be mentally tough for that part of it,” said Zanier. “That’s probably going to be the biggest challenge for them, is being mentally tough every shift.”

Salmon Arm would score the winner just 29 seconds after the Smoke Eaters tied the game 2-2. Nick Hutchison redirected a Carson Bolduc shot to beat Trail goalie Adam Todd to give the ‘Backs a 3-2 lead 16:12 into the middle frame.

The loss puts the Smokies at 2-2, tied with Vernon for fifth in the Interior division, while Penticton, Merritt Centennials, West Kelowna Warriors, and Salmon Arm are all locked at 3-1 to start the season. Only two other teams in the league, Chilliwack and Prince George, have records above .500.

The Smokies dominated the opening 10-minutes of the match, but Salmon Arm got on the board first when Taro Hirose walked out of the corner and jammed the puck past Todd with under three minutes to play in the opening period.

Careless giveaways could have sunk the Smokies early in the second period, but Todd came up with big saves to keep it close.

However, the ‘Backs would capitalize on the momentum swing when Shane Danyluk finished a slick passing play from Bryden Marsh and Bolduc to put Salmon Arm up 2-0 at 2:50 of the middle frame.

The Smoke Eaters bounced back, however. After Berezan was sent off for hooking, the line of Jake Lucchini, Dallas Calvin, and Harlan Orr put on a power-play clinic, displaying great puck control, with Calvin dishing off to Bryan Gerstenfeld who fired a hard pass to Lucchini that the Trail native deftly deflected into the top corner to make it 2-1 at 12:48.

Three minutes later the trio would strike again.  Lucchini broke down the right side into the Silverbacks’ zone and slid a perfectly timed pass to the front of the net where a streaking Calvin went forehand-back-hand to beat Salmon Arm goalie Angus Redmond on the glove side to tie it.

There was some definite chemistry between the two Trail natives, as both picked up a goal and an assist, something Lucchini says may have started earlier in the summer.

“It was good,” said Lucchini. “We went to hockey school this summer and we played together so it kind of carried over. He (Calvin) is a really good player so it’s easy to play with him.”

Yet, the line could not beat Redmond in the third, his biggest save coming off the stick of Calvin midway through the period. With the score 3-2, Lucchini and Calvin broke in on a 2-on-1; Lucchini saucered a perfect cross-crease pass to Calvin, but Redmond slid across and robbed the former Beaver Valley Nitehawk to preserve the one-goal lead.

“They had some opportunities, unfortunately we’re not going to win with one line, we need everybody going,” said Zanier. “You know we come back and tie it up and they come back with a soft goal, where we didn’t have good coverage, and that hurt. It seems we’re always trying to come back and that’s tough.”

Salmon Arm’s Hirose scored his second of the night to make it 4-2 with 2:45 to play.  The ‘Backs outshot the Smokies 32-25, with Redmond taking first star honours, while Lucchini was the game’s second star, and Hirose the third star. Trail was 1-for-3 on the power play, the Backs 0-for-2.

On Friday, after a scoreless first period, Scott Davidson would put Trail up 1-0 just 13 seconds into the second frame, but Penticton netted three unanswered goals on their way to a 3-1 victory. Joshua Laframboise netted the winner with just eight seconds remaining in the second period, taking a centering pass from Mitch Newsome and firing it into the open net to give the Vees a 2-1 lead heading into the third.

The Smokies were able to keep the high-flying rookie line of Tyson Jost, Lewis Zerter-Gossage, and Liam Finlay off the scoreboard, but it was veterans like former Vernon Viper Demico Hannoun and Cowichan Valley forward Steen Cooper that counted for the Vees.

“They had a lot of oddman rushes, but then we took the play to them,” said Smokies assistant Craig Clare. “We didn’t get the breaks we needed around the net, even tonight. If we got guys going to the net a little hungrier we might have a better chance.”

The Smoke Eaters outshot the Vees 32-21 but couldn’t solve Penticton goalie Hunter Miska who was named third star on the night. Laframboise received first star and Davidson the game’s second star in his first game back after suffering a concussion.

“I don’t think we showed what type of team we are yet,” added Clare. “We had glimpses of it at the Showcase, and even though these were close games, it wasn’t even close to the potential we can play to, so that’s what’s disappointing.We didn’t have the same jump we did in Chilliwack.”

Trail hosts the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday at the Cominco Arena with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m.

Just Posted

FILE – Perry Bellegarde, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations, takes part in an event on Parliament Hill in Ottawa on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Indigenous Peoples Day must be a ‘call to action’, says Assembly of First Nations chief

Discovery of children at Kamloops residential school site must lead to change, Perry Bellegarde says

Trees blown over by a windstorm in forest owned by Anderson Creek Timber. Photo: Anderson Creek Timber
Timber company logging near Nelson raises local concerns

Anderson Creek Timber owns 600 hectares of forest adjacent to the city

Keith Smyth, Kootenay Savings director at-large joins children from the Kids’ Care Centre at St. Michael’s Catholic School. Photo: Submitted
Kootenay Savings continues credit union’s tradition of giving

Funding totalling $48,250, is going to a wide array of Kootenay initiatives

From left: Karl Luedtke (West Arm Outdoors Club), Dale Williams (BCWF), Molly Teather (FLNORD), Gord Grunerud (West Arm Outdoors Club), Eugene Volokhov (Grand Prize Winner), Casey McKinnon and Lex Jones (Jones Boys Boats). Photo: Tammy White, Whitelight Photography
Balfour man lands big prize from angler incentive program

Eugene Volokhov of Balfour is now the proud owner of a sleek 18-foot Kingfisher boat

“I want to see the difference in the world, embrace it, celebrate it … ” Photo: David Cantelli/Unsplash
A new way to say ‘Hello’

“Inclusion, you see, is NOT about making us all the same.”

The border crossing into the United States is seen during the COVID-19 pandemic in Lacolle, Que. on February 12, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
VIDEO: Border quarantine to soon lift for fully vaccinated Canadians

Eligible travellers must still take multiple COVID-19 tests

By protesting uninvited in First Nations’ territories, conservationists are acting in a neocolonial or paternalistic manner, says Huu-ay-aht Chief Robert Dennis. Photo by Heather Thomson
A closer look: do Vancouver Island First Nations support the war in the woods?

First Nations/environmentalist old growth alliance uneasy, if it exists at all

A blood drive in support of 1-year-old Rielynn Gormley of Agassiz is scheduled for Monday, June 28 at Tzeachten First Nation Community Hall in Chilliwack. Rielynn lives with type 3 von Willebrand disease, which makes it difficult for her to stop bleeding. (Screenshot/Canadian Blood Services)
Upcoming blood drive in honour of Fraser Valley toddler with rare blood condition

The Gormley family has organized a blood drive in Chilliwack on June 28

One Reconciliation Pole and two Welcome Figures were unveiled during a ceremony in honour of truth and reconciliation on National Peoples Indigenous Day at the Vancouver School District in Vancouver, B.C., on Friday, June 21, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Horgan marks Indigenous Peoples Day by urging recognition of systemic racism

National Indigenous Peoples Day has been marked in Canada since 1996

A man makes his way past signage to a mass COVID-19 vaccination centre at the University of Toronto’s Mississauga campus during the COVID-19 pandemic in Mississauga, Ont., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Canadians encouraged to see mRNA shots as interchangeable as more 2nd doses open up

Doctors urge people not to hesitate if offered Moderna after getting Pfizer for their first shot

Chief of Defence Staff Jonathan Vance sits in the front row during a news conference in Ottawa on June 26, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Defence committee rises without report on Vance allegations

Committee had been investigating the government’s handling of complaints against former defence chief

The Coquihalla Lakes washroom is getting upgrades. (Submitted)
Coquihalla to get upgrades to aging washrooms

The Ministry of Transportation is providing $1 million in funding to upgrade 3 rest areas

The Sacred Hearts church on PIB land burned Monday morning. (Theresa May Jack/Facebook)
Two churches on First Nation land in South Okanagan burn to the ground

Sacred Hearts church on Penticton Indian Band land was reduced to rubble

Tl’etinqox-lead ceremony at the site of the former St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, B.C., June 18, 2021. (Angie Mindus photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
‘We are all one people’: Honouring residential school victims and survivors

Love, support and curiousity: Canadians urged to learn about residential schools and their impact

Most Read