The Trail Smoke Eaters won a thrilling 3-1 match against the West Kelowna Warriors at home Friday night before falling 5-2 to the Vernon Vipers on Saturday.
The game’s first star, Kienan Scott, scored the winning goal for the Smoke Eaters on a third-period penalty shot to break a 1-1 tie and give the Smokies their 12th win of the season. After getting hauled down at 6:58 of the third, Scott would score his seventh goal of the season and likely his fifth by way of breakaway as the Penticton native has been unstoppable when in all alone.
After a scoreless first period, Jake Lucchini opened the scoring at 14:04 of the second, beating Andy Desautels on an unassisted effort.
The Warriors outshot the Smokies 13-8 in the middle frame with the game’s second star, Adam Todd, making a number of good stops to keep the lead. However, Brayden Gelsinger would tie it with just 28 seconds left in the period, to set the stage for Scott’s heroics.
The Warriors swarmed the Trail net in the dying seconds but Todd would withstand a furious assault and Dallas Calvin added an empty netter with 10 seconds remaining to salt away the 3-1 victory.
On Saturday, Vernon took a 3-0 lead on goals by T.J. Dumonceaux, Liam Coughlin and Luke Voltin before Trail got on the scoreboard at 6:03 of the second period when Vernon minor-hockey product, Harlan Orr, beat Vipes’ goalie Jarrod Schamerhorn, with assists going to Scott Davidson and Bryan Basilico.
The Vipers’ have Trail’s number this year, winning all three matches, and have climbed into sole possession of second place in the Interior division with a 16-7-1-2 record, while the loss leaves the Smokies tied for fifth place with a 12-12-0-1 record, with two games in hand over Salmon Arm.
Vernon would make it 5-1 before eventual third-star Orr netted his second goal of the night and Scott Davidson added his second assist. Both teams were 1-4 on the power play and Vernon outshot Trail 32-27. Schamerhorn won his ninth of the season for Vernon while Brett Clark took the loss in net for Trail.
The Smoke Eaters play on Wednesday in Penticton against the Vees who are coming off a 4-3 loss to West Kelowna Saturday. The Smokies return to the Cominco Arena Saturday for another tilt against the Vipers at 7:30 p.m.