Trail Smoke Eaters beat Merritt Centennials 9-2 on Saturday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail Smoke Eaters beat Merritt Centennials 9-2 on Saturday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail falls to Vernon, bounce back with big win over Cents

Lagerback nets hat trick in Trail Smoke Eaters dominant win over Merritt Centennials

The Trail Smoke Eaters bounced back from a Friday loss in Vernon, and rolled over the Merritt Centennials on Saturday.

Smoke Eaters forward Teddy Lagerback netted a hat trick and Bailey Monteith stopped 27 shots in his first BCHL win as Trail downed the Cents 9-2.

Lagerback, a Chanhassen, Minn. product, opened the scoring two minutes into the first period, and Ridge Dawson put the Smoke Eaters up 2-0 with just 13 seconds left, as Merritt outshot Trail 12-10 in the opening frame.

But Trail broke it wide open in the second scoring six times to take an 8-0 lead into the third.

Connor Michaud scored on the power play and what proved to be the game winner, 2:42 into the second period to give Trail a 3-0 lead. Lagerback scored two more in the middle frame for his 10th and 11th of the season, along with Corey Cunningham, Coalson Wolford, and Zach Michaelis.

The Centennials tallied back-to-back goals midway through the final frame, and Brady Hunter notched his fourth point (1G,3A) of the game to make it 9-2 with 6:13 to play.

Trail outshot Merritt 38-29 and went 2-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-6 on the penalty kill.

Lagerback and Hunter earned first and second stars, while Jerzy Orchard was named third star for the Cents.

On Friday, Trail fell to the Vipers 5-3 in Vernon in what was the first meeting of the season between the teams.

Trail fell behind 2-0 after one, but came back to take a 3-2 lead on two second period goals from Hunter, and Quinn Disher’s shorthanded marker 7:10 into the third period.

However, Nic Kent drew the Vipers even three minutes later, and Luke Pakulak gave Vernon a 4-3 lead with four minutes remaining. The Vipers Cameron MacDonald added an insurance marker with 22 second left for the 5-3 final.

Vernon outshot Trail 40-31, for their sixth win of the season. After falling to Cranbrook 4-2 Saturday, the Vipers sit in seventh place in the Interior Conference with a 6-10-3-2 record. Trail is in fifth at 11-7-1-0, just ahead of Cranbrook with a 10-8-1-0 record.

The Penticton Vees lead the conference at 17-2-0-0 followed by the Salmon Arm Silverbacks, 16-4-1-0, West Kelowna, 13-7-0-0, and Prince George, 11-7-0-0.

Trail returns home with games versus the Vipers on Friday and the Vees on Saturday at 7 p.m.

Read: Smoke Eaters outgun Bucks

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