Penticton Vees forward Chris Klack is stopped at the doorstep by Trail Smoke Eaters goalie Adam Marcoux during Game 7 of their BCHL semifinal playoff series. The Smoke Eaters defeated the Vees 4-2 and advance to play the Wenatchee Wild. Kristi Patton/Western News

Trail defeats Penticton in BCHL Game 7

Penticton Vees lose to Trail Smoke Eaters in best-of-seven series

It must have been the shoes — or the favourable bounces, special teams, strong goaltending yada yada.

Some combination of those things won the battle for the Trail Smoke Eaters, finishing the Penticton Vees season in a decisive Game 7, 4-2 victory at the South Okanagan Events Centre on Monday night.

Ominously lined neatly up against the wall outside their dressing room, the Smokies dress shoes sat as their exuberant owners hopped off the ice after securing their trip to Wenatchee to play the Wild in the BCHL Interior Division final.

“It’s just a tradition. We came here in Game 5 (which they won) and we all put our shoes outside the room to have cleaner floors inside our dressing room and we won last time so when we came here for Game 7, immediately it was ‘boys shoes at the door,’” explained Smokies netminder Adam Marcoux. “I guess it will be a thing moving forward, it has worked so far.”

The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in the game on a broken play. Blaine Caton took a shot from the slot that deflected off a Vees leg and right to the slot where Andre Ghantous had a wide open net 9:58 into the first period.

A few minutes later, the Smoke Eaters were given a power play after the Vees were called for too many men on the ice. It took the Smoke Eaters just 47 seconds into the power play as Ross Armour slid a pass to Braeden Tuck in front of the goal, who pulled it to his backhand before finding a hole on Adam Scheel’s blocker side with 2:32 to play in the first.

The Vees generated a ton of high quality scoring chances in the second period and getting their first power play of the game, they looked to cut into the Smokies lead. Unfortunately, it was the Smoke Eaters taking advantage, as Armour found a turnover in front of the Vees net and beat Scheel under the blocker to make it 3-0 less than six minutes into the period.

“When you get in these moments you can’t make the mistakes that we did. We had an unfortunate bounce that gave them their first goal, then after that we take a too many men on the ice penalty … then a short-handed goal put us in a big hole,” said Vees head coach Fred Harbinson. “I thought our guys fought hard and tried to get back in the game.”

Wyatt Sloboshan cut into the lead when he and Chris Klack came in on a two-on-one rush. Klack cut to the middle of the ice before sliding the puck to Sloboshan, who fired it past the blocker side of Adam Marcoux.

Vees forward Taylor Ward was an inch away from making it 3-2, as his shot from the right circle off a Trail turnover hit the underside of the cross bar but stayed out.

Trailing 3-1 into the third, the Vees came out with jump in the final period. After holding Trail in their zone for a minute, the Smokies took advantage of another turnover. Tuck came down the left wing into the Trail zone before finding Armour heading to the front of the net who tipped the pass through Scheel to make it 4-1 just 70 seconds into the period.

Kenny Johnson pulled the Vees to within two after throwing a massive hit along the Trail blue line. The Vees regrouped at centre, and Luke Reid skated down the right wing in the Trail zone before firing it across the ice for Johnson who tapped it in backdoor.

The goal came with eight minutes to play, but that was as close as the Vees would come as the game ended with the 4-2 score.

Cam Keith, head coach of the Smokies, said Kale Howarth was their MVP of this series and chose Marcoux as the standout in Game 7.

“Our goalie just made those big saves. That is what you need, especially in a Game 7 … it could have gone either way tonight and we were fortunate to get those two goals early then it was kind of a uphill battle for Penticton.”

The loss ends the junior careers of the Vees Sloboshan, Jordan Henderson, Dakota Boutin, Jackson Keane, Klack and Owen Sillinger a they were in their final year of eligibility.

The announced attendance for Game 7 was 4,324.

Just Posted

BC RCMP: Lock it or lose it

Police give tips on safeguarding personal property; April is Auto Crime Enforcement Month

Lent Lily

What You See;If you have a recent photo to share email (large or actual) to editor@trailtimes.ca

Caribou panel hears from critical public

About 250 people turned out Wednesday evening to give feedback on the provincial government’s caribou recovery plans.

What is the UN Global Migration Pact?

Letter to the Editor from Antoinette Halberstadt of Castlegar

Experience the meaning of Easter at downtown Trail church

First Presbyterian Church is located at 1139 Pine Ave.

Dashcam captures close call between minivan, taxi at busy Vancouver intersection

To make the footage more nerve-wracking, a pedestrian can be seen standing at the corner

Deck collapses in Langley during celebration, 35 people injured

Emergency responders rushed to the Langley home

B.C. mom wages battle to get back four kids taken from her in Egypt

Sara Lessing of Mission has help from Abbotsford law firm

VIDEO: Fire guts Peachland home

Crews are still on scene pumping water onto the blaze in the Okanagan neighbourhood

$6K raised in one day’s time for family of woman gunned down in Penticton

GoFundMe launched for family of Darlene Knippelberg, to pay for funeral costs and other expenses

B.C. mountain biker sent home from hospital twice, despite broken vertebrae

Released in Maple Ridge to go home with three fractured vertebrae

Seven tips to travel safely this Easter long weekend

An average of three people are killed, and hundreds more injured, each Easter long weekend in B.C.

Seattle’s 4-20 ‘protestival’ enjoys tolerance, some support – and B.C. could do the same

Seattle’s Hempfest a large-scale occasions with vendors, prominent musical acts and thousands of attendees

Parents say Austrian climber missing in Banff National Park ‘lived his dream’

David Lama, Hansjorg Auer and American climber Jess Roskelley have been missing since Wednesday

Most Read