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Game Day | TRA at WK

The Smoke Eaters turned in a super 60-minute effort, posting a 5-2 Friday night win over the second-place Vernon Vipers in front of 1,334 Cominco Arena fans.

After giving up the first goal just two and a half minutes into the game, the Trail troupe took over.

A dominant 12 minutes later, Ethan Mann, in his first game back from a 22-game injury absence, deflected a power-play shot from the point past Vernon goalie Ethan David to tie the game heading into the second period.

That’s when something special happened.

Mathieu Cobetto-Roy scored the most impressive goal of the season in front of the hometown fans. He dangled through the defense, and head-faked and maneuvered his way around David going backhand-to-forehand and jammed in the go-ahead goal during a four-on-four situation just twenty seconds into the middle frame.

The Smokies extended the lead to 3-1 five minutes later following a 5-on-3 penalty kill for close to a minute. They were still shorthanded when – through pin-point puck control and great stickhandling – Cobetto-Roy pumped two shots on goal. While those shots didn’t go in, just moments later, Adam Parsons won a furious puck battle behind the net and fed Adam Barone who was cruising in from the point. The defenseman buried a beautiful shot into the top corner for the team’s first shorthanded goal of the season.

Judah Makway also returned from an injury and played an outstanding game. The Trail product was aggressive and fiesty. He also set up Josh Schenk’s goal late in the second with persistent forechecking and a perfect pass.

The Smokies led 4-1 after two periods, holding a 30-13 edge in shots on goal.

The Vipers turned up their game in the third period and scored about sixteen and a half minutes in, when Jiri Duda took advantage of a turnover in front of the Trail net, and then it got interesting.

The Vipers pulled David for a sixth attacker at the beginning of a power play with just over two and a half minutes remaining.

But Ethan Warrener put the game away with a 175-foot bank shot off the boards that spun into the empty net with 46-seconds left on the clock. It was also Trail’s second shorthanded goal of the game.

Teagen Kendrick turned in a strong 26-save performance to get the win. His best save came on the Vipers 5-on-3 power play when he scrambled across the crease to stop Owen Kim’s one-timer.

Trail was 1-for-5 on the power play and killed off all three Vipers advantages, outshooting the visitors 37-28. The win ended a three-game slide for the Smokies, which included overtime setbacks to Salmon Arm and Merritt.

Their next stop is West Kelowna for a Saturday night showdown against the Warriors who had Friday off and are riding a five-game winning streak.

The Warriors have also won both head-to-head meetings, scoring a 5-4 overtime victory on September 23 in Trail and a 5-3 win in West Kelowna a week later.

The game starts at 7 p.m. Pacific and will be broadcast on Mixlr and FloHockey.