Scott Davidson of the Trail Smoke Eaters battles for the puck Friday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Smokies won the game 4-1 but dropped a Saturday night match to West Kelowna 6-1.

Scott Davidson of the Trail Smoke Eaters battles for the puck Friday against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks. The Smokies won the game 4-1 but dropped a Saturday night match to West Kelowna 6-1.

Trail Smoke Eaters miss opportunity

The Trail Smoke Eaters missed an opportunity to climb the Interior division ladder with a loss to West Kelowna Saturday.

The Trail Smoke Eaters fired on all pistons on Friday against Salmon Arm, however in Saturday’s game the team’s offence couldn’t find the right gear against West Kelowna.

The Smokies put in a complete effort en route to a 4-1 win over the Silverbacks, but unable to solve West Kelowna goalie Steven Myland, fell to the Warriors 6-1.

Trail outshot West Kelowna 31-27, but early goals by Max French put the Smokies in a 2-0 hole which they couldn’t climb out of. Smokie starter Lyndon Stanwood was pulled in favour of Adam Todd after David Pope scored at 3:10 of the second to make it 3-0.

Marcus Basara made it 4-0 minutes later and Salmon Arm’s Ben Tegtmeyer made it 5-0 to open the third period, before Trail’s player of the game, Mitch Foyle, would finally beat Myland at 8:45. Devon Hascarl rounded out the scoring with 41 seconds remaining.

It was a disappointing result considering the way the Smokies dominated the Silverbacks on Friday. Trail fired 53 shots at the Arm’s towering six-foot-five puck stopper Adam Clark including 23 in the second period when they finally solved the University of New Hampshire commit.

The Smokies’ own Adam, Adam Todd, was also brilliant in the Trail net, blocking 32 shots and taking first star honours in the victory.

After a scoreless first period, Jesse Knowler would score what proved to be the winning goal taking a pass from Foyle and burying a high shot at 11:05 of the second.

It was Knowler’s third goal in two games, as the Castlegar native has taken on a much more offensive role since the injury to leading scorer Brent Baltus.

Tyler Berkholz opened the scoring on a 2-on-1, banging in a nice cross-ice pass from Foyle to put the Smokies up 1-0 at 4:05. The Smoke Eaters made it 3-0 when Austin Adduono snuck one past Clark after a nice set up from Connor Collett and Garrett McMullen.

Todd was staring at his first shutout and fifth win in as many starts for Trail but an Evan Anderson goal with less than two minutes left on a 2-on-1 spoiled the goose egg, but did not diminish the Courtenay native’s fine performance.

Riley McDougall would put the game to bed on an empty netter with 31 seconds remaining. The game was physical from the start, and a nasty hit to the head to Adam Sandler put him out of the game and likely on the DL.

The Smoke Eaters play a home and home with Salmon Arm next weekend with Trail hosting the Silverbacks on Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Cominco Arena.

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