Coming off an 8-3 win over the Coquitlam Express on Friday night in Trail, the Smokies traveled to Vernon on Saturday night in hopes of extending their win streak to five games. The Vipers, however, skated off with a 5-1 victory.
The Smokies ran into early penalty trouble, taking the first three infractions of the game and the Vipers capitalized on one of those power plays in the first period to take a 1-0 lead to the dressing room. Vipers’ Jimmy Lambert scored the first of three power play goals on the night for Vernon at 9:24.
In the second Steven Jandric of the Vipers scored a late goal at 18:45 when he was left all alone in front of Zach Dyment in the Trail net. Dyment had no chance on the marker and Vernon led 2-0 going into the third.
At the start of the third penalties still plagued the Smokies and the Vipers took advantage scoring two power play goals at 2:35 and 12:12 with both Steven Jandric and Jimmy Lambert scoring their second goals of the game. Vipers’ Austin Adamson put Vernon up 5-0 at the 13:00 minute mark before Connor Brown Maloski spoiled Darion Hansen’s shutout attempt in the Vipers’ net. Maloski scored at 15:36 on a feed from Ethan Martini.
Special teams were definitely a factor in the game as the Smokies were 0 for 5 on the power play while Vernon were 3 for 8.
Still feeling the injury bug the Smokies had Tyler Girardosi and Karsten Jang, both from the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, in the lineup against the Vipers.
With the win the Vipers solidified their hold on second place and are setting their sites on overtaking Penticton in first. It looks like a battle is shaping up for third place down the stretch between Trail, West Kelowna and Merritt. The Smokies sit in third place with 52 points, West Kelowna is in fourth place with 50 points and Merritt is in fifth place with 48 points. Both West Kelowna and Merritt have a game in hand over Trail.
The Smokies now travel to Salmon Arm for a game on Tuesday and then on to Penticton for a Wednesday night tilt, before returning home to face the same Penticton Vees on Friday night and Wenatchee on Sunday afternoon. Game time on Friday for the Vees game is 7:30 pm and on Sunday vs the Wild 3:00 pm.
Don’t forget the Smoke Eater season ticket drive going on now. Get your season ticket now for next year for just $199. This is half price for all games next season over the walk up price of $14.