PHOTO: Mike Hockley
SEPTEMBER 29th, 2018
TRAIL, B.C. – The Trail Smoke Eaters couldn’t muster enough offence as they dropped a 5-2 decision to the Wenatchee Wild on Saturday night at the Trail Memorial Centre.
Murphy Stratton, Christophe Fillion and Cristophe Tellier combined for three goals and six assists as the Smoke Eaters had no match for their offence and fell to 4-3-0-1 on the season with their first regulation loss on home ice.
The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in the game and came courtesy of their league leading 13th power play goal of the season and Mack Byers doing the honours. Carter Jones held the puck on the right side, getting to the top of the face-off circle before sending a pass to the front of the net where Byers got a piece of the puck and past Wild goaltender Austin Park on the blocker side for a 1-0 lead at the 5:28 mark.
The Wild tied the game at the 10:14 mark of the opening period on a nice keep in at the blue line by Drake Usher, taking a hit to free the puck for Murphy Stratton on the right half boards. Stratton spotted Christophe Fillion in the left face-off circle and wristed a shot past Smoke Eaters goaltender Adam Marcoux to even the score.
Tellier gave Wenatchee their first, and eventually, final lead of the game at the 13:07 mark of the 2nd period after an even first ten minutes of scoreless play in the frame. Stratton threw a puck on to the goal from the left wing that was redirected past Marcoux on the glove side by Tellier to push the Wild ahead by a 2-1 score.
Josh Arnold extended the Wenatchee lead to two goals on a fortuities bounce in front of the goal as a bouncing puck found its way to the glove side and Arnold whacked it past Marcoux to give the Wild a 3-1 lead before the 2nd period was out at the 18:20 mark.
Trail got themselves within a goal courtesy of a 5-on-3 power play goal from Michael Hodge to cut the lead in half. Jeremy Smith showed great patience and fired a pass from the top of the left face-off circle to the glove side of Park where Hodge wristed in his second goal of the season and cut the lead to 301 early in the 3rd period at the 1:36 mark.
Wenatchee would get their lead back to two goals with veteran defender Chad Sasaki finding daylight through a heavily screened Marcoux, sending a wrist shot over the glove side at the 9:41 mark of the final period to give the Wild a 4-2 advantage.
Fillion added his second goal of the contest to close out the scoring at the 14:23 mark as he jabbed in a loose puck in the bottom of the right face-off circle after a bit of a goalmouth scramble that gave Wenatchee a 5-2 lead and would be the eventual final score.
Adam Marcoux made 22 saves on 27 shots in his 2nd loss of the season while Austin Park turned aside 21 of the 23 shots he faced in the game for his 3rd victory of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 5-2 Wild
SHOTS ON GOAL: 27-23 Wild
SMOKE EATERS PP: 2/5
SMOKE EATERS PK: 2/2
1) Murphy Stratton (0-4-4)
2) Christophe Fillion (2-0-2)
3) Cristophe Tellier (1-2-3)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Carter Jones (0-2-2)
The Smoke Eaters (4-3-0-1) head out on the road for a three-game Vancouver Island swing on Thursday as they begin their trip at the Hap Parker Arena against the Powell River Kings (5-2-0-0) on Friday night. Puck drop is set for 7:00 PM with the game being broadcasted live on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com beginning with a pre-game show at 6:50 PM with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.