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Game Day | TRA vs PEN

It was a solid road victory after a 4-1 Friday night win in Cranbrook.

Trail carried the play for much of the first period, but didn’t hit the scoresheet until Lucas Lemieux sent a sneaky seeing-eye snapshot from along the boards, at the left point, into the short side of the net past Bucks goalie Bradeyn McIntosh at 18:18. Lemieux was stellar all night, turning in his best performance since joining the Smokies from the AJHL.

The Bucks got the equalizer five minutes into the second period as Nelson’s Bryce Sookro found the top corner, from the slot, on a screened Smokies goalie Ryan Parker. Both goals came after extended pressure in the offensive zone.

Trail got the eventual winner from rambunctious Ridge Dawson almost nine minutes later.

Dawson won a corner puck battle, his pass back to the point was deflected, but Isaac Fecteau made a great play on the floating puck to send it back toward the net, while Dawson was crashing the crease and he deflected in his 18th goal of the season.

The Smoke Eaters dodged a bullet late in the period on a deflection that floated over Parker, hit the top of the crossbar and fell in the crease, where he smothered the loose puck.

The teams then tightened up their defenses allowing very few scoring chances, until Trail’s energy line came through about 12 minutes into the third period.

Gryphon Bucci made a nifty play, setting up local boy, Judah Makway who went low-stick-side on McIntosh from close range to give the Smokies a two-goal lead.

Chrstian Kim, who returned from the injured list, celebrated his 19th birthday with an assist on the insurance goal.

The Bucks pulled McIntosh during a late third period power play, but were denied by the Trail penalty killers, including Parker, who was named first star for his solid 29-save performance.

The Smokies sealed the deal with an empty net goal with 46-seconds remaining.

Trail outshot the Bucks 35-30 and both teams went 0-for-2 on the power play. Cranbrook didn’t register a shot on goal for the first 13 minutes of the game, until they had the man advantage.

Chase Stefanek’s assist on the opening goal extended his points streak to five straight games.

The Smoke Eaters host the Penticton Vees at 3 p.m. on Sunday and good seats are still available at Tickets.TrailSmokeEaters.com. There will also be dinner specials and families are encouraged to stay for the FREE Skate with the Smokies after the game!