After a three day break the Smoke Eaters hit to ice to begin their final stretch of games in the BCHL pod, but despite the effort and a strong push at the end fell 4-1 to the Penticton Vees on Friday night.
The score line is deceiving in how this game actually went as the Vees would score two goals, one an empty net goal, in the final minute and a half to take a 4-1 victory. The Smoke Eaters traded chances in the opening 20 minutes and aside from the one sequence of play that led to the Vees opening goal they played a fairly open back and forth game. Josh Niedermeyer scored the opening goal at 14:37 of the first period as Liam Malmquist found him sneaking down from the left point to beat Logan Terness.
The Smoke Eaters had a near perfect start to the second, as they tied the game just 35 seconds into the period on Brady Hunters fourth goal of the year.
The Vees would answer back at the midway point of the period after the Smoke Eaters failed to clear the puck after being stuck in their own zone for an extended period of time. Fin Williams was able to put the puck into the open cage after the Smoke Eaters were caught trying to race to the bench while Luc Wilson out waited Terness and fed Williams, who came streaking down the middle of the ice for the 2-1 go ahead goal.
In the third the Smoke Eaters were held off the shot clock for the first ten minutes of the period before a valiant and exciting push at the end that almost resulted in the tying goal. The Smoke Eaters pulled the goalie with two minutes left but were unable to set up and create an opportunity. Tyler Ho added a empty net goal while Devlin O’brien scored his first BCHL goal with 47.5 seconds left to make it 4-1 Vees.
The Smoke Eaters no look ahead to Sunday afternoon where they’ll take on the Cranbrook Bucks at 4pm from the South Okanagan Event Centre.