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Playoff Game Day | TRA at VER

Game one of the Trail Smoke Eaters vs Vernon Vipers first round BCHL playoff series went exactly as expected.

The two closely matched teams tangled toe-to-toe in a tight-checking physical affair that remained scoreless until late in the third period when the Vipers got a shorthanded goal and added an empty netter for the 2-0 win.

Both goaltenders were outstanding.

Trail’s Teagan Kendrick set the tone with a terrific trapper save off an Isaac Tremblay blast from between the hash marks early in the first period; it was his first of 25 stops on the night.

Vernon’s Ethan David did his best work in the second period making 14 saves during a frame in which Trail had the territorial edge.

That included a point blank stop off Smokies rookie Chase Stefanek, who shot a high riser while being knocked down by two Vipers defenders.

Both teams battled through tough defenses to create opportunities, but when they came, the goaltenders provided the last line of defense.

That carried on into the third period.

The Smoke Eaters best opportunity to open the scoring in the final frame was a searing slapper from Adam Marshall.

David made a great save and Marshall had an open net on the rebound, but the puck bounced over his stick.

It was an unfortunate bounce that led to the winning goal.

Mathieu Cobetto-Roy won the face-off on a Smokies power play, but the puck bounced over the point man’s stick, ultimately leading to a face-off in the Trail zone.

The Vipers controlled the puck after it was dropped and it found the stick of Adam Kim, who was alone in front of the net.

His low shot found the far corner with just under three minutes left in regulation.

Kendrick was pulled for a sixth attacker and again, a bouncing puck at the point resulted in a fierce multiplayer battle in front of the Vipers bench, where a shot by Julian Facchinelli went into Trail’s empty net with just over a minute and a half remaining.

Trail finished the game with six attackers, but were unable to score.

The Smokies fired 30 shots at David, who was the game’s first star. Kendrick was named third star.

Trail went 0-for-3 on the power play and went unpenalized through 60 minutes of tough physical play.

Game two goes tonight (Saturday) at Kal Tire Place in Vernon, which can be heard on Mixlr and watched on FloHockey beginning at 6:55.

Tickets remain on sale for games three and four on Tuesday and Wednesday at Cominco Arena. Fans can skip the line and select their seats online at Tickets.TrailSmokeEaters.com.