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Game Report | CRA at TRA

The Trail Smoke Eaters ended a three game slide in their final home game of the regular season with Sunday’s 5-1 fanning of the Cranbrook Bucks.

The first goal in the tight defensive battle didn’t come until 2:36 of the second period, when Kailus Green buried a loose puck turned over in front of the Bucks net.

Cranbrook answered back just 38-seconds later when Patrick Murphy snapped in a quick release shot from the slot.

The game turned on a breakaway goal by Jason Stefanek in the final minute of the middle frame.

He stole the puck at the Trail blue line, was robbed by Bucks’ goalie Braedyn McIntosh on the original deke, but the puck bounced in off the leg pad McIntosh used to make the save, with Ridge Dawson poking away at the rebound.

The Smokies swarmed early in the third period, but McIntosh turned back their scoring chances until local boy, Nathan Dominici’s deflection of an Adam Barone point shot just shy of the ten-minute mark.

Two great goals by Max Potvin sealed the victory.

The 20-year-old winger finished an end-to-end rush, converting a give-and-go with Trail product, Judah Makway, with a sensational snipe into the top corner about two minutes after Dominici’s goal.

Potvin was also set up by Makway and Gryphon Bucci on a tremendous three-way passing play, tapping in the tick-tack-toe, tape-to-tape tally with just over five minutes remaining.

Trail outshot the Bucks 36-30 with both teams going 0-for-2 on the power play.

Rookie goaltender Ryan Parker got his 15th win of the season and earned second star honours with a superb performance.

Trail triumphed in the season series against Cranbrook with a 6-2-2 record and will close out the regular season with weekend road games in Penticton and Salmon Arm.

The Smokies will finish fifth in the Interior Conference and will meet either Vernon or Salmon Arm in the first round of the playoffs.

The games Friday against the Vees and Saturday against the Silverbacks can be heard on Mixlr and watched on FloHockey.

Stay tuned to Trail Smoke Eaters on our website and social media for playoff ticket information as soon as it becomes available.