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Game Day | TRA at SA

The last time the Trail Smoke Eaters won a regular season game in Penticton was November 6th, 2019.

The drought is over after 1,605 nights.

Teagan Kendrick turned in a terrific 47-save performance, backstopping the Smokies to a 4-2 triumph at the South Okanagan Events Centre.

He held the Vees at bay after the home side had constant pressure in the first eight minutes of the opening period.

Then the Smokies struck on their only power play of the game as Mathieu Cobetto-Roy blasted in a shot from the right-wing circle, converting a perfect cross-seam pass from Max Potvin.

Trail extended the lead to 2-0 just 20 seconds into the second period when Isaac Fecteau’s snapshot from the point deflected in off a Vees defenseman covering Ridge Dawson in front of the net.

The Smokies then killed off three Penticton power plays through much of the rest of the second period, with excellent positioning, deflecting passes and blocking shots, with Kendrick standing tall when shots got through.

Then, just 45 seconds after killing off a third straight Vees man advantage, the Smokies broke three-on-two into the Penticton zone and Max Potvin finished a three-way passing play with Christian Kim and Josh Schenk to give Trail a 3-0 lead heading into the third period. That goal came with just five seconds remaining in the middle frame.

Penticton started mounting a comeback about five and a half minutes into the third period on yet another power play.

Callum Arnott finally solved Kendrick, snapping a back-door feed high into the net.

The Vees cut the lead to a single goal two minutes later when Francesco Dell’ Elce blasted a shot from the midpoint into the top corner during a four-on-four situation, threatening the same kind of comeback that produced a 3-2 win in Trail a month ago.

However, the Smoke Eaters defended well and put the game away on another three-on-two rush.
Jason Stefanek, who assisted on Fecteau’s goal, delivered the insurance marker with just less than two minutes to go with a dastardly deke on Vees goalie Will Ingemann and then slid the puck into a wide open net.

Josh Schenk picked up his second assist of the game on that play.

Penticton outshot the Smokies 49-18. Kendrick made 17 of 47 saves in the third period alone.

Trail killed off four Penticton power plays, without captain Ethan Warrener.

The 20-year-old defenseman and team MVP is day-to-day with an injury suffered in last Sunday’s 5-1 win over Cranbrook.

Cobetto-Roy, Ethan Mann and Adam Parsons all came off the injured list, while Kendrick returned from a three game suspension to turn in his best performance of the season.

The Smokies will meet Vernon in the first round of the playoffs beginning next weekend. Salmon Arm clinched third place in the Interior Conference with a 3-1 win Friday night over Cranbrook, while the Vipers dropped a wild 6-5 overtime decision to Prince George, sealing their fate in fourth place.

Trail closes out the regular season with a Saturday night showdown against the Silverbacks in Salmon Arm.

Opening face-off is at 6 p.m. with all the action on Mixlr and FloHockey.