Victoria Grizzlies claw out OT victory over Trail Smoke Eaters

The Trail Smoke Eaters took 3-of-6 points on a three-game road swing to Vancouver Island on the weekend.

Following a third-period comeback, the Trail Smoke Eaters lost in double overtime 6-5 to the Victoria Grizzlies on Sunday.

The Smokies took 3-of-6 points on a three game road trip to Vancouver Island, after beating the Cowichan Valley Capitals 3-2 Friday, and losing in agonizing fashion to the Nanaimo Clippers 2-1 on Saturday.

Down 4-2 heading into the third, the Smokies tied it on goals from Charlie Zuccarini and AP Wilson Northey. The Grizzlies would pull ahead at 14:52 but Connor Brown-Maloski netted his third goal of the season to tie it with 2:42 to play in regulation to send it to overtime. After a scoreless 4-on-4 OT period, Zachary Dixon would score on an unassisted effort at 1:07 into the 3-on-3 overtime period.

The Smokies opened the scoring on AP Jake Fletcher ‘s power play goal at 4:50 of the opening period, and went up 2-0 after Dallas Calvin set up Jake Lucchini. But the Grizzlies would storm back making it 2-1 on Brett Gruber’s marker with 91 seconds left in the first period.

The Grizz would erupt with three goals in the second period, two from Matthew Kenneday and a single from Shawn McBride before Trail mounted their own third period comeback.

Adam Todd stopped 30 shots in net for Trail while Michael Stiliadis stopped 22. Trail went 2-for-4 on the powerplay and the Grizzlies were 1-for-3.

On Saturday, the Nanaimo Clippers Brendan Taylor scored a power-play goal with three seconds remaining to break a 1-1 tie and win their 17th game of the season.

After a scoreless first period, Jacob Hanlon scored unassisted when his shot trickled over Brett Clark’s shoulder, off the post and into the net to give the Clippers a 1-0 lead. However, Harlan Orr would reply six minutes later on a setup from Max Newton and Scott Davidson.

With 20 seconds remaining in regulation Harlan Orr was called for hooking, and after a face off at centre ice, the Smokies would ice it, but with time ticking down, Taylor made an incredible end-to-end rush and beat Clark on his own rebound in the final seconds.

Trail had a tough time generating scoring chances in the third and managed just four shots on goal in the period, but Clark was huge in net for the Smoke Eaters stopping 31 shots on the night and was named the game’s third star.

In Friday’s win over Cowichan Valley, Zuccharini scored a short-handed goal at 15:54 of the second period, and Todd took care of the rest stopping 32 shots on the night including 16 in the middle frame for the win. Ryan Swanson and Scott Davidson scored for the Smoke Eaters, and Jake Lucchini was named the game’s second star with two assists on the night.

Trail’s record improves to 10-11-0-1 for 23 points and a tie for fifth spot in the Interior division with Salmon Arm, however, the Smokies have a game in hand.

See more on the Smoke Eaters in Tuesday’s Trail Times.