Despite a 3-1 loss to Penticton Friday and a 4-2 setback to the Silverbacks Saturday this year’s Trail Smoke Eaters gave both Interior division teams a run for their money.
The Smokies battled back from a 2-0 deficit to tie it with just over four minutes to go in the second period, when Dallas Calvin took a pretty pass from Jake Lucchini and deked to the backhand to beat Salmon Arm goalie Angus Redmond. But 29 seconds later Nick Hutchison redirected a Carson Bolduc shot to beat Trail goalie Adam Todd for the winner at 16:12 into the middle frame.
Trail pressed in the third and generated a number of good scoring chances, but Redmond stymied the Smokies attack. His biggest save came off the stick of Calvin midway through the period. With the score 3-2, Lucchini and Calvin broke in on a 2-on-1, Lucchini saucered a perfect cross-crease pass to the streaking forward, but Redmond slid across and robbed Calvin to preserve the one-goal lead. Salmon Arm scored a late marker to ice it, as the Smokies drop to 2-2 to start the season.
Lucchini scored the Smokies first goal on a great defection on a slap pass from Bryan Gerstenfeld with Calvin getting the other assist. Salmon Arm outshot the Smokies 32-25.
After a scoreless first period on Friday, Scott Davidson would put Trail up 1-0 just 13 seconds into the second period, but Penticton would net three unanswered goals on their way to a 3-1 victory.
The Smoke Eaters outshot the Vees 32-21 but couldn’t solve Penticton goalie Hunter Miska.
Trail hosts the Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday at the Cominco Arena with the puck drop at 7:30 p.m.
See more on the Smoke Eaters in Tuesday’s edition of the Trail Times.