Trail Smoke Eaters Luke Santerno scored against the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday to help the Smokies earn two of six points on its three game road trip to Vancouver Island on the weekend.

Trail Smoke Eaters Luke Santerno scored against the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday to help the Smokies earn two of six points on its three game road trip to Vancouver Island on the weekend.

Trail Smoke Eaters salvage two points with win over Victoria Grizzlies

The Trail Smoke Eaters dropped two-of-three on a Vancouver Island road trip on the weekend.

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The Trail Smoke Eaters salvaged two points from a three-games-in-three-days road trip to Vancouver Island with a 2-1 victory over the Island-Division leading Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday.

The Smokies dropped their two previous games to Powell River and Alberni Valley on Friday and Saturday before eking out the win over Victoria thanks to a late third period goal by Montrose native Spencer McLean.

With the win, Trail clings to second place in the Interior Division standings, tied with the Vernon Vipers who beat the Cowichan Valley Capitals 2-1 on Sunday.

Victoria got on the board first when Drayson Pears beat Smokie goalie Linden Marshall at 8:56 of the opening frame. Trail’s Player of the Week, Luke Santerno, notched his 20th of the season to tie the game at one on a setup from Braedon Tuck as the Grizzlies outshot the Smokies 10-5 in the period.

Marshall was huge in the scoreless second period stopping 17 Victoria shots to keep the match tied, while Trail fired nine at the Grizzly net.

Trail emerged more committed in the third, and finally solved Victoria goalie Matthew Galajda with just over five minutes left in the period. Tuck picked up his 11th assist of the season, setting up McLean on the doorstep for the winning marker. Trail outshot Victoria 9-6 in the period, but the Grizzlies enjoyed a 33-23 advantage in shots over the game.

Marshall received first-star nod for his great play in net, with Victoria’s Tyler Welsh and Timothy Friedman the second and third stars respectively.

Santerno accounted for the rest of the Trail scoring on the weekend, as Trail lost to the Powell River Kings 2-1 on Friday and 4-1 to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday.

On Friday, Powell River went up 2-0 on a pair of goals from Cam Donaldson before Santerno replied for Trail with 27 seconds left in the second period. Trail couldn’t find the equalizer in the third as the Kings outshot the Smokies 39-29 with Brian Wilson getting the win for Powell River and Marshall suffering the loss for Trail in a third-star performance.

On Saturday, the Smoke Eaters lost to the basement dwelling Bulldogs largely due to a stellar performance from former Beaver Valley Nitehawks goalie Carson Schamerhorn who stopped 31 shots for the victory.

The Bulldogs erupted for three goals in the second period to take a 4-0 lead, and only Santerno beat Schamerhorn at 13:38 of the third period despite outshooting Alberni 11-4 in the period, and 32-28 in the match.

Alberni went 2-for-4 on the power play while Trail was 0-for-5.

Trail’s next game goes on Friday at the Cominco Arena when they host the Chilliwack Chiefs at 7:30 p.m., and again on Saturday when the Smokies face off against the Merritt Centennials at 7 p.m.

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