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Spruce Kings take two of three from Smoke Eaters

Trail Smoke Eaters end losing streak, return home for weekend tilts vs Vipers and Spruce Kings
Smoke Eaters leading scorer Brady Hunter scored twice and added an assist in 4-3 OT loss to P.G. Spruce Kings. Photo: Jim Bailey

The Trail Smoke Eaters ended its six game losing streak, and picked up three of a possible six points in a three-game tilt against the Spruce Kings in Prince George on the weekend.

The Smoke Eaters skated to a 4-2 victory in their opening match on Friday, but then lost a thrilling 4-3 match in overtime Saturday, before falling 4-2 Sunday.

Jordan Hendry scored the game winner in the opening match, walking in and wiring a shot high glove on Spruce Kings goalie Adam Farlie at 16:12 of the second period to give the Smoke Eaters a 3-1 lead.

The victory is the Smoke Eaters first since coming back from the Christmas break Dec. 30, but have played seven of nine games on the road.

Trail stormed out of the gate with Adam Parsons sniping a shot glove side for a 1-0 lead with 12:31 left in the opening frame.

Mathieu Cobetto-Roy wired a shot top shelf and made it 2-0 five seconds into a power play on a quick passing play from Brady Hunter and Evan Bushy at 7:42 of the first period.

Prince George got one back 3:12 into the second frame on a goal by Evan Fedele, but Hendry restored the two goal lead 48 seconds later with the game winner.

Jake Schneider brought the Spruce Kings back within one 27 seconds into the third period, but Adam Marshall found Hendry alone in front and the Smokies d-man fired a shot low stick side with 18:39 to play for the 4-2 final.

Trail outshot Prince George 28-21 and went 1-for-3 on the power play, and 4-for-4 on the penalty kill.

Hendry earned the game’s first star, Parsons the second star and Cobetto-Roy the third star.

In game 2 on Saturday, the Smoke Eaters came back from a 3-1 deficit to tie it, but the Spruce Kings Killian McGregor-Bennett ended it early in overtime scoring just 14 seconds in for the 4-3 victory.

Brady Hunter scored twice including a third period shorthanded goal on a penaly shot, before Evan Bushy tied it with 11 minutes left in the third.

Prince George outshot Trail 36-24. Trail was 1-for-5 on the power play, and 6-for-6 on the PK.

The Smoke Eaters jumped out to a 2-1 lead in Sunday’s rubber match on goals from Connor Seeley and Ethan Mann, but the Spruce Kings responded with three unanswered markers from Linden Makow, Jake Scheider and Jack Stockfish for the 4-3 victory.

Trail pushed hard in the final frame outshooting P.G. 14-9, but could not beat Fairlie in the late going. The Spruce Kings outshot Trail 35-29.

Trail sits in eighth place in the Kootenay Conference with a 15-17-2-3 record. The Smoke Eaters will look to improve on that when they return home to the Trail Memorial Centre for their next three games starting this Friday, Feb. 3 against the Vernon Vipers and Saturday versus the Spruce Kings, with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

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Jim Bailey

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