The Trail Smoke Eaters held on for their ninth win in 11 games in January in front of over 2,300 fans on Friday at the Cominco Arena.
Mike Colella scored the game winner with 4.6 seconds left on the clock in the second period, notching his 22nd of the season on a cross-crease pass from Kent Johnson for the 3-2 victory.
The goal brings Colella’s point total to 59 on the season. The Colorado College commit is currently in a three-way tie for second in league scoring with Trail’s Owen Ozar (22-37-59) and Cristophe Tellier of the Surrey Eagles (26-33-59). Johnson leads the BCHL in scoring with 36 goals and 89 points.
Wenatchee opened the scoring midway through the first period, with Brett Chorske banging a rebound past Trail goalie Logan Terness for a 1-0 lead.
Trail evened the score at 13:43 as Philippe Lapointe finished a 3-on-2 with Matt Osadick and Trevor Isakkson with a quick shot past Wild goalie Daniel Chenard.
Smoke Eaters forward Max Kryski put Trail up 2-1, shoveling in a rebound for a power play goal with 1:37 to play in the first.
Terness got a piece of Wild defenceman Noah Lugli’s blast, but it snuck through to tie the game at 12:49 of the middle frame.
After Colella’s go-ahead goal, the Smoke Eaters held on in the third period with the Wild outshooting Trail 11-6 and 31-26 in the game. The Smoke Eaters were 1-for-4 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Lapointe was named first star, Colella second star, and Lugli third star. Osadick extended his point streak to eight games and earned Fortis Energy Player of the Game.
With the win, Trail’s record improves to 32-14-2-2-1, and the Smokies have earned at least a point in 14 of their last 16 games.
The Penticton Vees sit atop the division, seven points up on Trail, while the Smoke Eaters sit 14 points ahead of third place Vernon Vipers.
Trail’s next match goes on Friday when they host the West Kelowna Warriors.