After dropping a tight game against Vernon Friday, the Trail Smoke Eaters gutted out an impressive road win against Salmon Arm on the weekend.
The Smokies rallied from a 4-2 deficit in the third period to pull out a 5-4 overtime victory against the Silverbacks in Salmon Arm.
Erik Cooper scored on a penalty shot after Stefan Nicholson was sent off for a blow-to-the-head penalty with 48 seconds to go in the 3-on-3 overtime.
Penalties incurred during the second OT result in a penalty shot rather than a 2 minute penalty and Cooper made no mistake as he snapped a shot blocker side past the Silvebacks’ netminder.
Trail started the scoring when Riley McDougall netted his first as a Smokie at 11:43 of the first period.
Tanner Clarkson put Trail up by two, five minutes later but the Silverbacks scored four unanswered goals to go up 4-2 at the end of two.
Brandon Long added his second in as many days, getting the Smokies within one after a nice set up from Kyle Horsman and Connor Tiechko at 11:47 to make it 4-3.
Then, after the Silverbacks Tyler Stephens was sent off for holding, Cooper would add his first of the game with just over two minutes remaining in regulation to tie it at 4-4.
Lyndon Stanwood picked up his fourth win of the season as the Smokies outshot the Silverbacks 29 to 28.
Salmon Arm had won four games in a row from the Smoke Eaters before the new year. Trail has triumphed in the last two against their division rival including a 3-1 win on Wedneday night at the Cominco Arena.
Cooper’s three-point night adds to his team-leading totals of 10 goals and 16 assists. The 20-year-old has stepped it up since former team leader Clayton Chessa was traded to Nanaimo.
In Friday night’s game against the Vernon Vipers, Trail tied the game 3-3 with less than two minutes in the third but Adam Tambellini potted the winner with a sizzling slap shot from the top of the circle that beat the Smoke Eaters James D’Andrea. Still D’Andrea was solid in net, stopping 36 of 40 shots on the night, while Trail could only manage 17 against the Vipers.
With the win, Trail has equalled their worst year’s output. The 1999-2000 season was one to forget, as the Smokies finished with eight wins, five ties for 21 points in 60 games.
After 40 game this season, Trail has eight wins, four overtime losses and one tie for 21 points. They remain playing .500 hockey in 2012 with three wins, three losses and one overtime loss.
Trail take their road show to the coast beginning with a Friday night tilt against former Smokie Steve Koshey and the Surrey Eagles.