The Trail Smoke Eaters surrendered a late 3rd period lead and fell in overtime to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks by a 3-2 score on Friday night at the Shaw Centre.
It was a bit of a feeling out process in the opening period of play as the two teams collected seven shots each with none finding the back of the net. Trail had the 1st period’s only power play that offered some strong pressure but nothing past Silverbacks netminder Ethan Langenegger, who made 7 saves as did Smoke Eaters Adam Marcoux, who stopped all 7 shots thrown his way.
After another stretch of scoreless play to begin the 2nd period, Matthew Verboon opened the scoring at the 12:20 mark to give Salmon Arm a 1-0 lead. The Silverbacks won a face-off in the offensive zone as Verboon grabbed the puck and fired a wrist shot through traffic past the glove side to give the home side a 1-0 advantage heading into the final regulation period of play.
The Smoke Eaters opened the period with a flurry of chances and were eventually rewarded at the 9:51 mark courtesy of a power play. Kent Johnson took a right point shot that was stopped by the blocker of Langenegger with the rebound coming loose on the right side as Hayden Rowan banged home the puck for his 15th goal of the season and tied the game at 1-1.
Just 1:02 later, Trail earned their first lead of the game coming off the rush. Braeden Tuck passed along on the right side for a skating Chase Stevenson just outside of the blue line as he streamed his way to the glove side before sending a puck to the front of the net as it banked off of the left arm of Langenegger and into the back of the net for his team leading 18th goal of the season as the Smoke Eaters jumped ahead by a 2-1 score at the 10:53 mark of the middle stanza.
As the period went along, the Silverbacks started to apply more pressure and came through in the final minute to tie the game with the goaltender at the bench for an extra attacker. Justin Wilson came off the bench and fired a shot wide of the net as the puck skipped to the front of the goal with Nick Unruh pushing the puck through the fray and past Marcoux at the 19:07 mark to even the game at 2-2 and force overtime.
The Smoke Eaters had a chance to win the game around the minute mark of the extra session as Tuck took a pass from Stevenson just inside the blue line and had an open man on the blocker side in Trevor Zins, who missed on the one-timer chance as the puck was collected by Salmon Arm to go back the other way.
Justin Wilson carried the puck up the right-wing side and kept wide on the outside before outwaiting everyone to get just below the goal line and tucked the puck inside the glove side post past a sprawled Marcoux to close the game 1:07 into the overtime period and give the Silverbacks the victory.
Ethan Langenegger turned aside 30 of the 32 shots he faced in the Silverbacks net in his 13th win of the season while Adam Marcoux stopped 29 of the 32 shots thrown his way in his 21st defeat of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 3-2 Silverbacks (OT)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 32-32
SMOKE EATERS PP: 1/3
SMOKE EATERS PK: 2/2
1) Justin Wilson (1-1-2)
2) Nick Unruh (1-0-1)
3) Chase Stevenson (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Darren Rizzolo (0-0-0)
The Smoke Eaters (17-21-7-3) complete their weekend double header in the Shuswap against the Salmon Arm Silverbacks (22-19-4-1) at the Shaw Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7 PM from the provincial capital with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:50 PM with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.