Former Smoke Eater Chase Dafoe and the West Kelowna Warriors returned to the Trail Memorial Centre with a 5-4 victory over the Smoke Eaters on Wednesday.
Felix Trudeau notched the game winner when he capitalized on a 2-on-1, keeping and wiring a shot past Smoke Eaters goalie Evan Fradette to give the Warriors a 5-3 lead 58 seconds into the third period.
The setback for Trail puts their record at 1-2-0-0 to start the season, while the Warriors improve to 2-0, opening its season with a 5-3 victory over the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday.
It was Dafoe’s first return trip to the Silver City after he requested a trade to the Warriors earlier this summer to be closer to family.
Elan Bar Lev Wise put the Warriors up 1-0 finishing off a 2-on-1 pass from Trudeau just 45 seconds into the opening frame.
Trail evened the match at one when Coalson Wolford broke in on a breakaway with Zach Michaelis. Wolford fanned on the shot, but was able to tap the puck over to Michaelis who slid it past Warriors puckstopper Johnny Derrick and into the empty net at 15:38.
But midway through the period, Evans was sent in all alone on a quick neutral zone transition and beat Fradette high glove side. However, the Smokies responded whenTeddy Lagerback tied it with a power play goal with 9:27 to play.
Trail outshot the Warriors 15-11 in the period, and had their chances in the second, when the Warriors were handed four straight penalties. The Smoke Eaters cashed in on a two-man advantage when Lagerback found Disher waiting by the back door for a 3-2 lead at 11:43 of the second period.
However, it took all of 22 seconds before Evans scored his second of the night with a quick shot low stick-side for a short handed goal 12:05 into the period to tie it at three.
Kelowna regained the lead when Alexi Van Houtte-Cachero stole the puck in the Trail end and beat Fradette shortside with 5:02 to play in the middle frame.
The Smoke Eaters held a 25-20 shot advantage through two periods.
Kelowna came out determined in the third. After Trudeau gave West K a two goal lead, Trail’s Connor Michaud cut the lead to one just 13 seconds later. But West Kelowna played tight defensively and disciplined in the third, outshooting the Smoke Eaters 11-6 to stifle any chance of a comeback.
Both teams fired 31 shots on net, while Trail went 2-for-7 on the power play and was a perfect 5-for-5 on the penalty kill.
Trail travels to Penticton for a Friday game against the Vees, before returning home for a Saturday night match versus the Wenatchee Wild at 7 p.m.