Game 2 of the Smoker Eaters-Centennials Interior Division quarter-final goes tonight in Merritt at 7 p.m. Cole Wagner/ Merritt Herald photo.

Trail Smoke Eaters drop Game 1 to Merritt Centennials

The Trail Smoke Eaters will look to rebound from a 4-2 loss to Merritt in Game 2 tonight

The Merritt Centennials scored three second-period goals on their way to a 4-2 victory over Trail Smoke Eaters in Game 1 of the Interior Division quarterfinal Friday in Merritt.

Matthew Kopperud scored the winning goal with 52 seconds remaining in the second period to give the Centennials a 3-1 lead. The Centennials forward intercepted a clearing pass at the left circle and wired a shot over the glove of Trail goalie Donovan Buskey.

The goal was the third straight for the Cents, who trailed 1-0 after the first period on a Kent Johnson tally for the Smoke Eaters. Johnson popped in a centering pass from Hayden Rowan beating Austin Roden blocker-side at 4:58 of the opening frame.

Kopperud tied the game at 1-1, scoring his first of the match 22 seconds into the middle frame on a setup from Nichols Wicks and Brendan Schneider and Michael Van Unen put the Centennials up 2-1 at 11:53 on a power-play goal.

After Kopperud’s second of the night gave Merritt a 3-1 lead, the Smokies replied with 26 seconds left in the second period on a Tyler Ghirardosi goal.

Nick Granowicz put the game away scoring on a breakaway with 1:40 left on the clock for the 4-2 final.

Buskey was one of Trail’s best players on the night, facing 39 shots and earning the Game’s third star, while Roden faced 31 shots and was named second star. Kopperud, with two goals, took first star honours.

The teams return to action at the Nicola Arena tonight in Merritt for Game 2 with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

Smoke Eaters fans can follow the game by free audio stream at as well as on pay-per-view at with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.


Just Posted

Dynamiters win Game 3, Nitehawks on brink of elimination

McDowell scores twice to lift Kimberley Dynamiters to a 3-0 series lead against the B.V. Nitehawks,

Vipers win pivotal game 5 to take 3-2 series lead

Vipers beat the Trail Smoke Eaters by a score of 5-2 and will look to end the series Saturday night in Trail at 7 p.m. at the Trail Memorial Centre. Contributed: Vernon Vipers Staff

Last call for Trail-Warfield Citizen of the Year entries

The deadline is Friday, April 12 at noon

Unofficially, Trail Smoke Eaters deserved better

Sports ‘n’ Things with Dave Thompson

Trail senior has her voice heard by Interior Health

At the end of the day, Rina is hoping that she was heard and that things will change

Sparks fly as SUV speeds down wrong side of Highway 1 trying to flee RCMP

Captured on video, the vehicle headed westbound against oncoming traffic before crashing

Trudeau calls May 6 byelection for B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith

The riding opened up when Sheila Malcolmson resigned in January

Calgary captain has 3 points as Flames torch Canucks 3-1

Giordano leads way as Alberta side cracks 100-point plateau

1,300 cruise ship passengers rescued by helicopter amid storm off Norway’s coast

Rescue teams with helicopters and boats were sent to evacuate the cruise ship under extremely difficult circumstances

B.C. university to offer first graduate program on mindfulness in Canada

University of the Fraser Valley says the mostly-online program focuses on self-care and well being

Province announces $18.6 million for B.C. Search and Rescue

The funding, spread over three years, to pay for operations, equipment, and training

Late-season wave of the flu makes its round in B.C.

BC Centre for Disease Control reported 50 per cent jump in flu cases in first weeks of March

Tofino’s housing crisis causing some to seek shelter at the local hospital

Tofino’s housing crisis is pushing the town’s ‘hidden homeless’ population into the forefront.

Sentencing judge in Broncos crash calls for carnage on highways to end

Judge Inez Cardinal sentenced Jaskirat Singh Sidhu to eight years

Most Read