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GAME RECAP: Smoke Eaters Battle Hard But Fall In Overtime To Clippers

PHOTO: Mike Hockley


JANUARY 11th, 2019

TRAIL, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters had a strong 3rd period push to force the game into overtime but an Ethan Scardina hat-trick helped the Nanaimo Clippers hand Trail a 4-3 loss in extra time on Friday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.

The Clippers were first to hit the scoresheet in a physical opening period of play at the 6:35 mark of the 1st frame. Ethan Scardina took over a loose puck after a Trail turnover and worked to the top of the crease and beating Smoke Eaters goaltender Adam Marcoux with a shot over his glove side for a 1-0 advantage in favour of the visitors.

Nanaimo took a penalty shortly after the goal and just 57 seconds after they opened the scoring, Hayden Rowan tied the game on the power play. Kent Johnson sent the puck to the left corner for Tyler Ghirardosi who worked off the goal line and passed to the slot for Rowan as he punched the puck past the glove side of Clippers netminder Jordan Naylor for his 13th goal of the season and tying the game 1-1 at the 7:32 mark of the period.

The Smoke Eaters took their first lead of the game at the 11:00 mark of the opening frame courtesy of a deflection in front of the net. Diarmad DiMurro had his left point shot redirect off a Nanaimo defender and past the blocker side of Naylor for his 4th goal of the season and gave Trail a 2-1 lead.

The visitors would get the game evened at the 17:17 mark of the 1st period as Scardina buried his second goal of the night off of a nice passing play from Sammy Steele. Steele gathered the puck on the right wing and worked through a couple of Smoke Eater defenders before sending a backhand pass to the blocker side with Scardina poking it by to knot the game up at 2-2.

24 shots were thrown on net in the middle frame but none of the two sides could find the back of the goal as the game remained scoreless into the 3rd period. Adam Marcoux was excellent in the 2nd period turning aside all 14 shots he faced in the period with Jordan Naylor holding down the Nanaimo crease, making 8 saves including a big 2-on-0 stop with Max Kryski sending a pass to the blocker side for Chase Stevenson before Naylor got across and made a big blocker stop.

The Clippers took their second lead of the game at the 3:25 mark of the 3rd period and came at the tail end of a Smoke Eaters power play. Marcus Mitchell had the puck flipped ahead to him in neutral ice and worked in shorthanded before firing a wrist shot past the glove side of Marcoux to give Nanaimo a 3-2 lead.

Tyler Ghirardosi continued his hot play and scoring streak to get the game on even terms at the 9:13 mark of the final regulation period. Ghirardosi worked his way through the defence on the left wing before snapping a shot from the left face-off circle under the glove side of Naylor for his 8th goal of the season and tied the game at 3-3 to force extra time in Trail.

Nanaimo controlled the overtime period, possessing the puck for most of the 1:44 leading up to Scardina completing his hat trick to help the Clippers to their 10th win in a row. Steele took a shot from the right circle that bounded off the left pad of Marcoux with Scardina closing it out on the blocker side for the win.

Adam Marcoux stopped 27 of the 31 shots he faced in the game in his 19th loss of the season while Jordan Naylor turned aside 27 of the 30 shots thrown his way in his 15th victory of the season.

FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Clippers (OT)

SHOTS ON GOAL: 31-30 Clippers




1) Ethan Scardina (3-0-3)

2) Kent Johnson (0-2-2)

3) Sammy Steele (0-2-2)

Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Tyler Ghirardosi (1-1-2)


The Smoke Eaters (16-19-6-3) close out their weekend on home ice as they host the Island Division’s Victoria Grizzlies (25-13-0-2) at the Trail Memorial Centre for a Sunday matinee. Puck drop is slated for 3:00 PM with tickets available for purchase at the Smoke Eaters Main Office as well as the door ahead of the opening face-off.