Stellar goaltending from Trail Smoke Eaters Evan Fradette backstopped the team to a four-point weekend.
The St. Albert native stopped 35 shots in a 4-1 victory over the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday at the Trail Memorial Centre, following another 35 save performance in a 5-3 win over the Nanaimo Clippers on Friday.
With the departure of all-star goalie Logan Terness to the NCAA, the Smoke Eaters needed to fill the hole in net. The Smoke Eaters added Fradette to the line up in an August aquisition for Justin Ross and futures from the Fort McMurray Oil Barons of the AJHL.
With returning goalie Cayden Hamming on the injured list, Fradette has started every game this year. He has won three straight games and boasted a 2.00 goals against average, allowing six goals on 111 shots and a 9.48 save percentage over that time.
Trail forward Quinn Disher scored the game winner on a power play with 4:40 remaining in the second period. Disher forced a turnover in the Wenatchee end then wired a shot over the blocker of Wild goalie Tyler Shea to give Trail a 2-0 lead.
The victory improves the Smokies record to 5-3-1-0, good for fifth place in the nine-team Interior Conference.
After a scoreless first period, where the Wild outshot the Smoke Eaters 13-6, Trail`s Zach Michaelis notched his seventh of the season 1:23 into the second period. The Elk River, Minn. product drove around the Wild defenceman then slipped the puck between Shea`s pads for a 1-0 lead.
Michaelis leads all Trail scorers with seven goals and 10 points through nine games.
Wenatchee made it 2-1 on a short-handed goal from Qunn Emerson, but the Smoke Eaters Charlie Strobel restored the two goal lead 1:49 into the third period.
Trail captain Coalson Wolford added more insurance, firing the puck into a Wild empty net with 17 seconds left to play for the 4-1 final.
Wenatchee outshot Trail 36-20, with the Smokies going 2-for-4 on the power play and 3-for-3 on the penalty kill.
Fradette earned the game`s first star, Disher second (1G,1A), and Michaelis (1G) the third star.
In Friday`s match, the Smoke Eaters jumped out to a 3-0 first period lead, and held on for a 5-3 victory over the Clippers in an exciting back-and-forth match.
Michaelis, Evan Bushy and Ridge Dawson scored before the midway point of the opening frame, chasing Nanaimo goalie from the crease.
Nanaimo kept it interesting with Tristan Fraser scoring 22 seconds into the second and former Smoke Eater Sean Donaldson made it 3-2 just 37 seconds into the third period.
Strobel responded for Trail, restoring the two-goal cushion, but Donaldson struck again on the power play midway through the period to cut the lead to one, once more.
However, Brady Hunter iced it with a goal into the empty net with three seconds to play.
Nanaimo outshot Trail 38-30, and were 2-for-4 on the power play, while Trail was 0-for-1.
Trail will travel to Prince George this week for a two-game series against the 7-2-0-0 Spruce Kings.