Trail Smoke Eaters Braeden Tuck put the Smokies ahead 3-2 after falling behind early

Trail Smoke Eaters eliminate Salmon Arm Silverbacks

The Trail Smoke Eaters advance to the next round against the Vernon Vipers. Game 1 goes Friday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

An early 2-0 deficit to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks provided fuel for the Trail Smoke Eaters fire, as the home team stormed back to take the Game 5 Interior Division playoff in a 7-4 victory on Friday night at the Cominco Arena.

A raucous crowd of over 2,200 fans cheered on the Smokies and captain Connor Brown-Maloski scored twice including the game winner to eliminate the Silverbacks from the BCHL playoffs, and pit the Smoke Eaters against the Vernon Vipers in the Interior Division semifinal.

Elijiah Barriga scored 66 seconds into the match to give the ‘Backs a 1-0 lead, and Jared Turcotte knocked in a bouncing puck past Smokies goalie Linden Marshall two minutes later to go up 2-0.

But the Smokies’ battled back. Ross Armour deflected a point shot from Carter Cochrane to cut the lead in half midway through the period, and Braeden Tuck walked out from behind the net, tried to jam the puck by Nic Tallarico but the ‘Backs goalie made a pad save, only for Tuck to jump on the rebound and put it in to tie the game.

Tuck celebration

With less than five minutes to play, Josh Laframboise set up a screen, and Luke Santerno blasted the puck by Tallarico to give the Smokies a 3-2 lead, as Trail outshot the ‘Backs 22-7 in the period. 

CBM gave the Smokies a two- goal lead when he roofed a shot past Tallarico to go up 4-2 at 12:39 of the middle frame. But the Silverbacks refused to yield, as Austin Chorney walked in over the Trail blue line, went wide and fired a quick shot top corner on Marshall at 16:18.

Trail held a 32-16 edge in shots over two periods, but held on to a tenuous 4-3 lead.

The Smokies came out fast and dominant, and the captain scored what proved to be the winning goal when Santerno sent a cross-ice pass to Brown-Maloski and the Kamloops native fired it into a gaping net to put Trail up 5-3.

Barriga brought the Smokies within one again, banging in a power play goal past Marshall at 8:13 of the third period. However, Trail found a way to win, as Blaine Caton put the Smokies up 6-4 and Mitch Barker iced it into an empty net with 16:42 left in regulation.

Trail outshot Salmon Arm 42-28 and went 2-for-3 on the power play, while Salmon Arm was 1-for-1.

Trail wins the series 4-1 and will face the Vernon Vipers at Kal Tire Place in Vernon on Friday for the best-of-seven Interior Division semifinal series.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Ktunaxa, supporters celebrate protection of Qat’muk and the Jumbo valley

Speeches, acknowledgements and ceremonies mark an emotional gathering in Cranbrook

Smoke Eaters defeat Centennials on Hockey Day in Trail

The Trail Memorial Centre showcased an exciting line up on Saturday during Hockey Day in Trail

Jumbo Valley to be protected, ending decades-long dispute over proposed ski resort

Development rights permanently retired for site of proposed year-round ski resort west of Invermere

After cashing in on QB gambles, Chiefs and 49ers to clash in Super Bowl

KC beats Tennessee, San Francisco dispatches Green Bay to reach NFL title game

B.C. VIEWS: Few clouds on Horgan’s horizon

Horgan’s biggest challenge in the remainder of his term will be to keep the economy humming along

Victoria family focuses on ‘letting go, enjoying time together’ after dad gets dementia

Walter Strauss has developed an interest in music and now takes line dancing classes

B.C. forest industry grasps for hope amid seven-month strike, shutdowns, changes

Some experts say this could be worse for forestry than the 2008 financial crisis

Northern B.C. RCMP investigating alleged sexual assault in downtown Smithers

One person was transported by ambulance to hospital following RCMP investigation at Sedaz

UBC, Iranian-Canadian community create memorial scholarship in honour of victims

The Jan. 8 crash killed 176 people, including 57 Canadians

Disrespectful that Horgan won’t meet during northern B.C. tour: hereditary chief

Na’moks said he was frustrated Horgan didn’t meet with the chiefs

Most Read