Too many miles takes its toll

Long road trips take their toll, and the Trail Smoke Eaters ran out of gas as they faced off against the Cowichan Valley Capitals.

Long road trips take their toll, and the Trail Smoke Eaters ran out of gas as they faced off against the Cowichan Valley Capitals in their final game of a three-game haul.

The Smokies picked up two points from a pair of over-time losses, the first 4-3 to Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday and 3-2 to Powell River Kings Saturday before being overrun by former Smokies’ coach Jim Ingram and Cowichan Valley 7-1 in Duncan Sunday afternoon.

Newcomer James D’Andrea got the start in goal in all three games and looked great at times as he faced more than 40 shots in consecutive games.

D’Andrea made several big saves to keep the Cowichan game close through the first two periods, but could not stop them all, as the Capitals blew it open with four goals in the third.

It was the Smokies only season meeting with Cowichan and Powell River this year.

The game against Chilliwack saw the return of Adam Fares who contributed with a goal and an assist and Taylor House picked up his first goal since coming over from the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.

Erik Cooper also had a good weekend scoring the tying goal and forcing overtime in both tilts.

However, Chilliwack’s Trevor Hills scored 39 seconds into overtime to lift the Chiefs to a, 4-3 victory in the first match up.

The Smoke Eaters lost the services of leading scorer Clayton Chessa when he was kicked out early in the first period for fighting and also received an additional one-game misconduct and suspension.

In Powell River, Cooper jammed his second equalizer midway through the third to deadlock the game at 2-2 and force the extra frame.

But the Kings would score in the three-on-three OT period, when Daniel Schuler poked home his own rebound after D’Andrea made a terrific save on his first attempt.

The win extends the Kings’ unbeaten streak at home to seven games.

Trail will play Vernon at home on Friday at 7:30 before hitting the road for Salmon Arm and Westside, Saturday and Sunday.