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Vees, Chiefs capitalize on shorthanded Smoke Eaters

Trail Smoke Eaters can’t beat the injury bug, fall to Chilliwack and Penticton
The Penticton Vees skated to a 7-2 win over the Trail Smoke Eaters on Saturday at the Cominco Arena. Photo: Jim Bailey

The injury bug bit the Trail Smoke Eaters even harder this week.

Trail had five affiliate players in the line up in two tough losses against the Penticton Vees on Saturday and the Chilliwack Chiefs on Friday.

Just when Trail fans didn’t think it could get any worse, Smoke Eaters forwards Adam Marshall, Mathieu Cobetto-Roi and starting goalie Teagan Kendrick joined Trey Fechko, Ridge Dawson, Ethan Warrener and Connor Seeley on the injury reserve list (IR).

Max Potvin and Ethan Mann rejoined the team after being on the IR for a couple weeks, and despite the huge dent in the line up, Trail jumped out to a 2-0 lead against Penticton with goals from Brady Hunter and Potvin’s first as a Smoke Eater.

It was short-lived, however, as Penticton tied it at two at the end of 20 minutes. The Vees then poured it on outshooting Trail 30-4 in the second period, with goals from Josh Niedermayer and a power play tally from Aydar Suniev to make it 4-2.

The Vees did not let up in the third, scoring three more including Suniev’s 37th goal, and Bradley Nadeau’s 38th of the season for the 7-2 win.

Keegan Maddocks was named the third star, and was great in the Smoke Eater net facing 65 shots and making 58 saves, while Trail fired 21 shots at the Vees goal.

On Friday, Trail played the Chiefs tight through two periods with the game tied 1-1 heading to the third. But the Chiefs five-goal third period outburst sunk the Smoke Eaters in a 6-1 loss.

Chilliwack outshot Trail 41-27, and went 2-for-5 on the power play, while Trail was 0-for-5.

The loss was Trail’s third straight this week after falling 5-2 to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on the road Wednesday. The Smoke Eaters are 2-7-1-0 in their past 10 games and will hope to have a healthier outlook for this weekend’s games.

Trail will host two Coastal Conference teams in the fourth place Coquitlam Express and second place Surrey Eagles on March 10 and 11 this week at the Trail Memorial Centre, with the puck drop at 7 p.m.

Read: Silverbacks down Smoke Eaters in mid-week match up

Jim Bailey

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