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Game Report | TRA vs MER

It was another crazy comeback by the Kootenay kids who came close to coming home with another two points.

The Smoke Eaters erased a 4-1 second period deficit but suffered a 5-4 overtime setback in Merritt.

It appeared to take the Trail troupe some time to adjust to the smaller ice surface and lively boards, where plays develop quickly.

The Centennials outshot Trail 6-1 in the early going and struck first on an off-man rush less than a minute and a half into the game as Jaxon Murray snapped in a low shot to the stick side of Smokies goalie, Ryan Parker.

A Lucas Marshall point shot tied the game at the midway point of the period, but the Centennials regained the lead less than a minute later when Aiden Lindblad tapped in a loose puck that fell in behind Parker after he made the first save on a 3-on-1 rush.

Parker prevented the Centennials from taking a two-goal lead into the dressing room by stopping Charles-Thomas Larochelle on a penalty shot at 16:47.

The Centennials extended their lead to 4-1 in the second period on a power play goal by Michael Felsing at 4:23 and Lindblad scored on a shorthanded breakaway about four minutes later.

The Smoke Eaters started mounting their comeback just 23-seconds after that on the same power play as Adam Barone buried a point shot for his fourth goal of season and Adam Marshall reduced Merritt’s lead to just one, drilling in the rebound of a Barone blast from the point that hit the post on another Trail power play with just 40-seconds left in the second period.

The Smoke Eaters third-period push resulted in the tying goal at 9:44.

Jason Stefanek spun a shot from the mid-point that went in off Christian Kim, who – while on his way to the players bench to celebrate – signalled that the shot went in off his butt.

The game was settled 32-seconds into overtime when Sam Grabner converted a three-way play as Parker was unable to make the save despite a desperate dive across the crease.
The Centennials outshot Trail 36-35, with the Smokies going 2-for-5 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.

Trail brings home three of a possible four points on their weekend road trip which opened with Friday night’s 3-2 comeback overtime win in Vernon.

The Smoke Eaters (9-8-5) close out a three-game road swing Wednesday in Penticton against the league-leading Vees, before returning home to host Salmon Arm on Friday December 1st at Cominco Arena. Both are 7 p.m. starts that will be broadcast on Mixlr and FloHockey.