Trail Smoke Eaters forward Chase Dafoe tallied the game winner in a 4-2 victory over the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday at the Cominco Arena.
The game was tied at two late in the second when Bucks d-man and former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Quaid Anderson was sent off for interference. With time running out, Dafoe shovelled in a rebound off a Connor Sweeney shot from the left boards with 1.1 seconds left on the clock to give Trail a 3-2 lead heading into the third.
The victory gives Trail a 2-1 series lead in the best-of-seven Kootenay Cup, as the teams continue their extended exhibition season until the BCHL resumes play.
Trail product Jacob Smith scored his first as a Smoke Eater to open the scoring, midway through the first, taking a pass from Brady Hunter and beating Bucks goalie Nathan Airey shortside for a 1-0 lead.
Bucks forward Dane Dowiak tied it on the power play, wiring a shot from the slot past Smoke Eaters goalie Logan Terness with 3:34 to go in the first period.
Cranbrook went up 2-1 early in the second period. Terness made a big save off a driving Hayden Gelbard, but Jarrod Smith jumped on the rebound and beat the Trail goalie at 17:46.
The Bucks kept the Smoke Eaters at bay until the final minute when the visitors got into penalty trouble. Trail forward Noah Wakeford tied the game with 1:45 remaining in the second, lifting a Cody Schiavon rebound past Airey on the power play, before Dafoe notched his game winner.
The Smoke Eaters Cody Schiavon netted the insurance marker, putting in another rebound after leading a rush down the right wall at 8:30 of the third period.
Cranbrook outshot Trail 33-25, and went 1-for-4 on the power play. Trail was 2-for-4 with the extra man.
Schiavon earned first star honours, Sweeney second star, and the Bucks Briggs Gammill third star.
Trail and Cranbrook resume the Kootenay Cup on Oct. 30 at 6 p.m. Pacific Time at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, the Buck’s first home game as a team in the BCHL.