Vees hold off Smokies

Trail hosts Vernon Vipers and Prince George Spruce Kings this weekend

The Trail Smoke Eaters allowed two goals in the opening two minutes, dropping a close 3-1 decision to the BCHL’s top team, the Penticton Vees, Wednesday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

“We got two quick goals against, I think on the first two shots of the game, but after that we competed well,” said Smoke Eater coach Nick Deschenes. “We just lacked a little bit in the execution department.”

Penticton affiliate player Jordy Bellerive scored the winning goal and his first goal as a Vee, when he gathered a drop pass from Mitch Newsome and beat Smoke Eater goalie Adam Todd with a wicked wrist shot blocker side to give the Vees a 2-0 lead at 1:47 of the first.

Before the ice had dried, Jack Ramsey scored just 20 seconds into the match after he capitalized on a Trail turnover. Ramsey’s shot quickly went in and out of the net and was initially waved off by the referee. The play continued and at the other end of the ice, Trail’s Charlie Zuccarini whistled a shot off the cross-bar on a breakaway. Eventually the play was whistled dead and the four officials convened at center ice and ruled that Ramsey’s shot did indeed go in.

The Smoke Eaters regrouped following the second goal, taking the play to the Vees for the remainder of the period, but missed opportunities  foiled the Smokies offensively.

“The game could have gone either way, but I really felt we had an opportunity to win that game had we executed. The effort was there, and it (the game) was there to be had.”

The Vees however would come out hard in the second outshooting the Smokies 13-7, but Todd, the game’s third star, kept the period scoreless with a number of good saves.

Dakota Conroy finally broke through in the third as he walked out of the corner and beat Todd up high at 5:46 to put the Vees up 3-0.

Griffyn Martin, however, spoiled Hunter Miska’s shutout bid midway through the third. Right off the face-off, Martin leaned into a slap shot that found its way through traffic and over Miska’s arm at 12:40.

The 24-4-0-1 Vees outshot Trail 30-23 and went 0-for-2 on the power play while the Smokies were 0-for-3.

New acquisitions Steve Penner and Cooper Leitch played in the game after a long day of travel on the road from Prince George.

“They were definitely a physical presence out there, both of them had probably three or four big hits each, so that’s kind of what we need as a group.”

Penner and Leitch came to Trail in a trade for Viktor Dombrovskiy earlier this week, and should make an immediate impact especially against physical teams like Vernon with former Smokie and Trail native Riley Brandt banging it up this Saturday at the Cominco Arena.

“Vernon is going to be a huge test, but we haven’t shown up against them yet, but it’s at home so there should be no reason for us to take them lightly,” said Deschenes.

The Smoke Eaters have had success against Powell River Kings and will look to make it 3-0 on Sunday.  The Smokies will have to neutralize top-10 scorers Jared Lukosevicius with 38 points and Kurt Keats, 37 points, and, more than that, finish their own opportunities.

“We’ve got to continually step it up a notch,” said Deschenes. “We have to command success, and demand it from our group. The opportunities are there and, like the Island trip, were just coming up short by such a small margin.”

Trail faces off with Vernon at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and against the Kings at 3 p.m. Sunday at the Cominco Arena.

With files from the Penticton Western News.

Just Posted

Adrian Moyls is the Selkirk College Class of 2021 valedictorian and graduate of the School of Health and Human Services. Photo: Submitted
Selkirk College valedictorian proves mettle in accomplishment

Adrian Moyls is a graduate of the School of Health and Human Services

A report shows nine West Kootenay communities are have more low-income persons than the provincial average. File photo
Study casts new light on poverty in the West Kootenay

Nine communities in region have more low-income residents than provincial average

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

The pilot of this single-engine propeller plane was unhurt after crash-landing in a Como Road orchard Friday, June 18. Photo: Laurie Tritschler
Plane crash lands into Grand Forks orchard, pilot injured

RCMP have secured the crash site, pending investigation by Transport Canada

Author John Vaillant joins Lisa Moore and Fred Wah for Elephant Mountain Literary Festival’s Alumni Reading on Friday, July 9. All three authors were featured at the inaugural festival in 2012. Photo: Submitted
FESTIVAL TALES: When 2012 meets 2021

The Elephant Mountain Literary Festival will include authors from the event’s inaugural year

A small pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins pass by close to shore in Campbell River June 16, 2021. Still capture from video courtesy of Kimberly Hart
VIDEO: Dolphin sunset captured from Vancouver Island shore

Spectacular setting for view of travelling pod of Pacific white-sided dolphins

Police are asking for public assistance in locating Anthony Graham who has been charged with the murders of Kamloops brothers Carlo and Erick Fryer. (RCMP photo)
2 charged, suspect at large in killings of B.C. brothers linked to gang activity: RCMP

Kamloops brothers Erick and Carlo Fryer were found deceased in May on a remote Okanagan road

Albert Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Alberta Premier Jason Kenney unveil an opening sign after speaking about the Open for Summer Plan and next steps in the COVID-19 vaccine rollout, in Edmonton, Friday, June 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Alberta 1st province in Canada to lift all COVID-19 public health restrictions

70.2% of eligible citizens 12 and older in the province have received a dose of the vaccine

Fraser Health registered nurse Ramn Manan draws a dose of the Pfizer COVID-19 vaccine into a syringe at a walk-up vaccination clinic at Bear Creek Park, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, May 17, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Honour our fathers’ with COVID-19 vaccine protection, B.C. urges

109 new cases Friday, 75 per cent of 12 and up immunized

(Paul Henderson/ Chilliwack Progress)
Trutch Avenue in Chilliwack to be renamed to remove racist taint

New name to have Indigenous significance as Chilliwack takes new step toward reconciliation

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau is seen during a joint news conference following the EU-Canada Summit, in Brussels, Belgium, Tuesday June 15, 2021. Trudeau says Canada is on track now to have 68 million doses delivered by the end of July, which is more than enough to fully vaccinate all 33.2 million Canadians over the age of 12. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Vaccine deliveries enough to fully vaccinate all eligible Canadians by end of July

Three in four eligible Canadians now have their first dose, nearly one in five fully vaccinated.

Chief Public Health Officer Theresa Tam listens to a question during a news conference, in Ottawa, Tuesday, Jan. 12, 2021. The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases attributed to the highly contagious Delta variant grew in Canada this week. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s public health agency reports spike in confirmed cases of Delta variant

More than 2,000 cases of the variant confirmed across all 10 provinces and in one territory

Bella Bella is on B.C.’s Central Coast, accessible only by air and ocean. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
B.C. provides $22 million for Heiltsuk development on Central Coast

Elders care home project, tourism, lumber mill supported

Most Read