After a 7 month wait the Smoke Eaters delivered on the entertainment value in a 7-4 win in their first ever meeting against the Cranbrook Bucks.
It was a slower start to the game as both teams got a feel for each other. The Bucks came out with an early advantage in shots as they led 5-1 through the early stages. However the compete level was their for both sides. The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in this one by Chase Dafoe, who played on the top line with Wolford and Senkoe. Dafoe was able to put home a rebound as a shot from Hemenway was tipped wide by Senkoe, came directly off the end boards, to Dafoe on the left side of the net where he put it over the out stretched pad of Jacob Zacharewicz.
The game took off in the second, whether it was because each team found their scoring touch, or they got more comfortable with their line mates, the goals came fast and furious. Just 1:31 into the middle frame Connor Michaud made it 2-0 with a great move off the wall as he went the net, found his own rebound for the goal. Then 0:26 seconds later Dafoe would score his second of the night as he kept the puck on a 2-on-1 to beat the Bucks netminder. Three minutes later the Bucks would score their first goal in franchise history with Zeth Kindrachuk scoring on the powerplay. Dane Dowiak would make it 3-2 with another man advantage goal at 11:27 of the second period. The Smoke Eaters would restore the two goal lead prior to the period break as Michaud scored his second of the night.
The third period started just as frantically as the second with multiple goals in a short period of time. The Bucks made it 4-3 just 2:19 in on a goal by Walker Gelbard. Nicolas Roussel would answer with the eventual game winner 1:08 later before Nelson, B.C. Native Noah Quinn answered 15 seconds later to make it 5-4. Connor Sweeney would close out the game though for the Smoke Eaters scoring twice unanswered to give the Smoke Eaters their 7-4 win.
The Smoke Eaters ended the night 0/4 on the powerplay, while killing 3/5 on the penalty kill. Cranbrook also outshot the Smoke Eaters 44-32.
3rd Cranbrook Dane Dowiak 1G
2nd Trail Chase Dafoe 2G
1st Trail Connor Michaud 2G, 1A
Fortis Energy Player of the Game – Nic Roussel 1G (GWG) 1A
The Smoke Eaters have another week off before Cranbrook returns to Trail for the final tune-up game before the Kootaney Cup battle begins.