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GAME RECAP: Ghirardosi Last Minute Marker Lifts Smoke Eaters To Victory Over Eagles

PHOTO: Mike Hockley

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

JANUARY 4th, 2019

TRAIL, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters threw everything and the kitchen sink at goaltender Hayden Missler and the Surrey Eagles with a late marker from Tyler Ghirardosi being the difference in a 4-3 victory on Friday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Hayden Missler was the star of the game for the Eagles, making 52 saves on 56 shots as he kept the Eagles in the game but three 3rd period goals from the Smoke Eaters, including a last-minute goal off the stick of Tyler Ghirardosi that helped Trail to their 15th victory of the season.

The Eagles started the game with a couple of good looks before the Smoke Eaters took over the period with 17 total shots being fired toward Surrey netminder Hayden Missler and after making a solid left pad save on Kent Johnson in tight, Chase Stevenson would give the Smoke Eaters a 1-0 lead later in the offensive sequence.

Braeden Tuck was centered from below the goal line and took the puck on his backhand in the slot before spinning to the bottom of the left face-off circle and feeding the puck to the top of the crease for Stevenson who had the puck deflect off of his skate and into the back of the net for his 15th goal of the season and a 1-0 Smoke Eater lead at the 15:45 mark of the opening frame.

The Smoke Eaters continued to dominate, outshooting the Eagles by a 21-5 margin in the 2nd period and throwing just about everything at the net but Hayden Missler kept the Eagles in the game, making saves on all 21 shots thrown his way in the frame and Max Mohagen helped Surrey to tie the game at the 12:57 mark of the period.

Caige Sterzer started the play, gathering the puck in the high slot and passing off to Jake Toor in the left face-off circle before he spotted Mohagen in the right face-off circle as he beat Smoke Eaters netminder Adam Marcoux on the blocker side to even the score at 1-1 heading into the 3rd period of play.

The Eagles earned their first lead of the hockey game early into the 1st period at the 1:19 mark of the final frame as Dawson McKay jammed in a loose puck on the left pad of Marcoux that gave Surrey a 2-1 advantage.

Trail would answer back at the 6:31 mark of the frame with their first of two goals in a span of 26 seconds as Kent Johnson created a turnover with a strong fore-checking presence and put a puck to the net that Missler turned aside before Owen Ozar leaped on the rebound and pushed with 8th goal of the season across the goal line for a 2-2 tie.

Trevor Zins would give the Smoke Eaters their second lead of the game just 26 seconds later at the 6:57 mark after a perfect pass from Carter Jones. The Smoke Eaters forward spotted Zins on the backdoor from the glove side and fed a perfect pass for the defender to walk into a snap a one-timer past the blocker side for his 8th goal of the season and giving Trail a 3-2 lead.

The Eagles were resilient and tied the game at the 10:34 mark of the final period courtesy of a fantastic individual effort from Corey Clifton. The Quinnipiac University commit carved his way past the Smoke Eaters defence on the left wing and fired a shot over the blocker side of Marcoux to level the game at 3-3.

Trail continued to pepper the Surrey net with shots and with 41 seconds remaining in the game, Tyler Ghirardosi got the monkey off of his back with his 6th goal of the season. Ghirardosi made a nice move to the outside after getting into the zone before wiring a shot past the blocker side of Missler to snap a 25-game goalless drought and give the Smoke Eaters the late lead.

The story of the game was the stellar play of Missler, who receives his 9th loss of the season but was the only reason the Eagles were in the game with 52 saves on 56 shots. Adam Marcoux turned aside 18 of the 21 shots he faced in his 13th victory of the season for the Smoke Eaters.

FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Smoke Eaters

SHOTS ON GOAL: 56-21 Smoke Eaters

SMOKE EATERS PP: 0/4

SMOKE EATERS PK: 0/0

3 STARS:

1) Tyler Ghirardosi (1-1-2)

2) Hayden Missler (52 saves on 56 shots)

3) Owen Ozar (1-1-2)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Kent Johnson (0-1-1)

ATTENDANCE: 2,307

The Smoke Eaters (15-19-5-3) head out for their first road game of the calendar year as they travel to the Okanagan to face-off against the West Kelowna Warriors (22-17-0-1) on Saturday night. Puck drop is slated for 7:00 PM from Royal LePage Place with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:50 PM on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.