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Trail Smoke Eaters end tough road trip vs Vees and Silverbacks

Vees Josh Nadeau nets a hat trick in 4-2 win over Trail and Penticton’s seventh straight victory
Trail Smoke Eaters are back in action at home vs Salmon Arm Friday and Penticton Saturday at Trail Memorial Centre. Photo: Jim Bailey

A shorthanded Trail Smoke Eaters team suffered a pair of tough road losses to the top teams in the Interior Conference on the weekend.

The first place Salmon Arm Silverbacks eked out a 2-1 win over the Smokies on Friday, before Trail went into Penticton and endured an 8-2 drubbing by the Vees, Saturday.

There was a considerable hole in the Smokies line up with goalie Cole Tisdale, captain Coalson Wolford, energy forward Ridge Dawson and defenceman Ethan Willoughby on the injury list.

The Vees Josh Nadeau scored a hat trick and Adam Eisele had a three-point night in Penticton’s seventh straight victory.

Penticton jumped out to a 2-0 first period lead on goals by Nadeau and Eisele as Penticton dominated outshooting Trail 15-3 in the period.

Thomas Pichette made it 3-0 Vees two minutes into the second, before Trail got on the board with Zach Michaelis notching his 22nd of the season at 14:22.

Nadeau made it 4-1, before Smoke Eaters forward Corey Cunningham cut the lead in half with 2:34 to play in the middle frame.

The third was all Penticton as they added four more on goals from Josh Nadeau, Eisele, Bradly Nadeau, and Ethan Mann.

Penticton outshot Trail 43-15 and went 2-for-3 on the power play, while Trail was 0-for-1.

On Friday, Trail played Salmon Arm for the first time this season, with goalie Owen Albers, an AP from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, getting his first start of the season.

In a closely contested match up, the Silverbacks jumped out to a 1-0 lead on a goal from Noah Serdachny with under two minutes to play in the first period.

A scoreless second period saw goaltenders at both ends make several big saves to keep the score at 1-0 heading to the final frame.

Less than a minute into the third, BCHL leading scorer Simon Tassy made it 2-0 with a power play goal.

But Trail battled, and Brady Hunter banged in a rebound to bring the Smoke Eaters within one at 7:18. However, Salmon Arm goalie Liam Vanderkooi was unbeatable after that, making 32 saves and earning the game’s first star in the 2-1 victory.

Serdachny was named second star, and Albers earned third star honours in his debut, making 27 saves on the night.

The wins put 26-0-2-0 Penticton just one point (58 pts) behind 28-5-2-1 Salmon Arm for first place in the Interior, while 16-18-1-1 Trail falls below .500 for the first time since October and into seventh place.

Trail returns home and hosts the Silverbacks on Friday, Feb. 11 and the Vees on Saturday, Feb. 12.

Read: Smoke Eaters snake bitten by Vipers

Jim Bailey

About the Author: Jim Bailey

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