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Playoff Game Day | VER at TRA

It is desperation time for the Trail Smoke Eaters.

They need a win tonight at Cominco Arena or their season is over.

Vernon scored a 5-3 decision on Tuesday night in Trail and lead the best-of-seven first round BCHL playoff series three games to none.

The Smokies got off to a great start in game three.

Adam Parsons opened the scoring about a minute-and-a-half into the game and Mathieu Cobetto-Roy’s power play snipe three minutes later elevated the Smokies to a 2-0 lead.

A near-miss from the slot by Jason Stefanek moments later would have made it 3-0. Vernon stopped Trail’s momentum on the first of two consecutive goals by Shea Busch, as he scored on an odd-man rush late in the first period.

He tied the game about three minutes into the middle frame after batting in the rebound of a long-bouncing puck that handcuffed Smoke Eaters goalie Teagan Kendrick.

The teams continued to crash and bang their way through a tight-checking game that remained down right nasty throughout.

The Vipers took their first lead on a shorthanded goal about six minutes into the third period.

Anthony Cliche snapped a shot from the right-wing circle with Owen Kim crashing the net and the puck fluttered into the far corner.

Trail got back on even terms just before the 11-minute mark.

Adam Parsons got his second goal of the game with a one-timer after a cross-seam pass on the power play, but the Vipers would regain the lead just past the 14-minute mark.

Adam Csabi converted a give-and-go by deflecting a shot into the top corner.

The Smokies pushed back moments later, with a multi-shot barrage but couldn’t beat Vipers goalie Ethan David.

The Vipers would put the game away on Isaac Tremblay’s long-fluttering shot into Trail’s empty net at 18:55. Goalie Teagan Kendrick was pulled a second time for a sixth attacker but the Smokies could get no closer.

Trail outshot the Vipers 37-34 and went 2-for-5 on the power play, while killing off all three Vernon advantages.

Opening face-off for game four is set for 7 p.m. Good seats are still available at Tickets.TrailSmokeEaters.com. Fans are reminded to skip the line and secure their seats online.