The Trail Smoke Eaters looked to take advantage of recent turmoil in Silverback country but it was Salmon Arm that eventually salvaged a win at the Cominco Arena last night.
Following the trades of captain Brett Knowles and defenseman Matt Brown and the rumoured departure of head coach Colin O’Hara, the Silverbacks seemed vulnerable.
But it was Shane Hanna who buried a two-on-one pass from Kody Dhaliwal in the second overtime period that broke a 4-4 tie to give Salmon Arm the 5-4 victory.
Seconds earlier Trail goalie Lyndon Stanwood made a great save on another 2 on 1 and the Smokies missed many similar opportunities at the other end.
Salmon Arm started the scoring with a shorthanded marker as Devin Muller snuck in and made a quick move that surprised everyone including Stanwood. However, Trail replied two minutes later when Martin banged in a rebound off a Clayton Chessa shot.
In the second frame, penalties killed the Smokies as the Silverbacks had the home team on their heels for most of the period.
Kody Dhaliwal scored the Silverbacks second goal on the power play as he banged in a cross-ice pass from Muller. Less than a minute later Alex Gillies scored an identical goal tipping a pass over a sprawling Stanwood to go up 3-1.
The Smoke Eaters’ Garrett MacMullen would put the Smoke Eaters back within one, but Myles McCauley restored the two goal cushion on another power play with five minutes to play in the period.
Down 4-2, the Smokies came out determined in the third, as Chessa picked up a loose puck in the slot and buried it in the top corner 6:31 into the period. Salmon Arm goalie Adam Clark foiled many quality chances until Brent Baltus walked in from the point and made a slick pass to Erik Cooper who deposited into the open net.
Then with seconds remaining in the game, Tanner Clarkson bore down on a partial breakaway on the Silverback goalie but could not beat him.
The Smoke Eaters outshot the Silver backs 43 to 32 but have yet to win a game in five meetings with Salmon Arm this season.
The Smoke Eaters next home game is Saturday at 7:30 against Victoria.