The Trail Smoke Eaters play their preseason home-opener tonight at Cominco Arena against their BCHL Kootenay rival from Cranbrook.
The Smokies capped a busy long weekend by taking a young squad to the first exhibition game of 2023.
The rookies, along with a couple second-year Smokies boarded the bus for Vernon at 8 a.m. Sunday after three hard-fought training camp games that wrapped up early Saturday evening.
After falling behind 1-0 at the seven-minute mark, Manchester, NH recruit Jack DesRusisseaux scored his first of two goals in the opening frame and Bonnington, BC boy Rhett Hamilton also buried one for Trail, who took a 3-2 lead into the second period.
Bronson Ross, who scored his second of the game for the Vipers, got the lone goal of the middle frame that sent the teams to their dressing rooms tied 3-3 after forty minutes.
After a relatively penalty-free two periods, the Smokies found themselves two men short after Hamilton was penalized for tripping, followed by a high-sticking call against DesRuisseaux.
Juri Duda put Vernon ahead 4-3 with a power play goal during the 5-on-3 advantage, 11 seconds before Hamilton was due to step out of the penalty box.
The Vipers used the momentum from three third period power plays to outshoot Trail 14-7, but Michael Risteau made his shot count for the visitors with 1:44 remaining.
The snipe from the slick Western Michigan bound recruit out of Lakeville, MN tied the game 4-4 and sent the preseason premiere into overtime.
Adam Csabi scored 42-seconds into the extra period on the only shot of overtime, to give the home side the 5-4 victory.
Owen King rounded out the Vernon scoring.
Smoke Eaters rookie goaltender Ryan Parker went the distance, stopping 36 of 41 shots. He was impressive Saturday morning with a 34 save shutout in the second scrimmage of Smokies training camp.
Trail shooters fired 31 shots on Vipers goalies Dylan Adams and Colin Wray.
Callas Pierce had two assists for the Smoke Eaters, while Corson Maguire and Nathan Dominici of Trail had one assist each.
The Bucks will be making their preseason debut tonight in Trail.
Opening face-off is at 7:30 p.m.