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Game Day | TRA vs VER

The Smoke Eaters and Spruce Kings generated just five shots in the first period and scored five goals in the second, as Trail battled back from a pair of one-goal deficits to beat Prince George 5-2 at Cominco Arena.

The floodgates opened at 3:45 of the middle frame when Spruce Kings defenseman Ben FeFranc’s shorthanded goal began the five-goal onslaught over a span of just over six minutes.

Trail’s Max Potvin tied the game just 21-seconds later on the same powerplay.

The Spruce Kings regained the lead less than four minutes later when Luca Primarano had an unchallenged look from the slot, only to see the Smokies get back on even terms two minutes later.

Adam Marshall used Gryphon Bucci as a decoy on a two-on-one break; Spruce Kings goalie Charlie Zolin made the first save, but Marshall buried a backhander into the top corner on his own rebound.

Trail took the lead for good with just over two minutes left in the period.

Energy liners Judah Makway, Kailus Green and Nathan Dominici pinned down the visitors on a long and pressure-packed shift, when Green went hard to the net, got stopped by Zolin and Dominci put the rebound past the prone PG goalie to score his first goal of the season.

The insurance goal came early in the third period. This time it was the Stefanek brothers and Ridge Dawson applying the pressure, when Christian Kim came off the bench to dangle around Zolin and find the back of the net.

The Smokies kept Prince George at bay with tight neutral and defensive zone play until Dawson delivered an empty net goal with 46-seconds remaining.

Trail outshot the Spruce Kings 30-14 and went 1-for-2 on the power play, while giving up a shorthanded goal and went penalty-free.

Teagan Kendrick picked up his second straight win in goal.

The Smokies now have a Saturday night Cominco Arena clash against Vernon and still trail the fourth place Vipers by three points.

Vernon jumped out to a 4-0 lead in Merritt, only to see the Centennials storm back to tie the game heading into a scoreless third period and prevailed 5-4 in overtime.

Trail leads the season series against the Vipers 3-1, with 5-2 and 3-1 victories at home and recorded a 3-2 overtime win in Vernon back in late November.

The Vipers were 3-2 winners on home ice in early January.

Mathieu Cobetto-Roy and Chase Stefanek lead the season series points parade with five each; Cobetto-Roy has been the top shooter with three goals.

A win tonight is crucial for Trail to push past the Vipers into fourth place and get home ice advantage in the first round of the playoffs.

Game time is 7 p.m. and good seats are still available at Tickets.TrailSmokeEaters.com.