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RECAP – Smoke Eaters close out regular season with a win over the Silverbacks

It wasn’t necessarily pretty but the Smoke Eaters found their scoring touch in a 7-5 win on Saturday night in Salmon Arm, as they close out the regular season with a win.

The first two periods were filled with goals as the Smoke Eaters and Silverbacks went back and forth. The Backs opened the scoring on the powerplay as Mat Bourgault knocked the loose puck in front of Cole Tisdale into the Smoke Eaters net just 1:55 into the game. 31 seconds later though the Smoke Eaters would answer as Zach Michaelis had his back door pass intended for Nic Remissong deflect of a Salmon Arm player and go in to tie the game at 1 early on.

The Smoke Eaters would then take their first lead of the night courtesy of Connor Michaud, who took the pass from Christian Lowe inside the Silverbacks blueline and let his shot go, beating Liam Vanderkooi over the shoulder and under the bar making it 2-1 Trail.

The Backs would answer a few minutes later with Nathan Mackie getting his shot through Ethan Willoughby and then by Tisdale, as the Silverbacks tied the game at 2. That tie would last only a few minutes as Quinn Disher would strip the puck from Kieran Ruschienski and go top corner on Vanderkooi, giving the Smoke Eates a 3-2 lead after the first period.

In the second the Smoke Eaters extended their lead to make it 4-2, and give them a solid grip on the game. Michaud would score his second just as the Trail powerplay expired, as Hendry put the shot on from the right wall that was initially stopped by the Silverbacks netminder, with the rebound finding Michaud.

The Silverbacks would then break free and score three goals to flip the script in a minute and a half. The first goal was a weird one as Noah Serdachny’s shot beat went off the end glass to the side of the net and then was knocked into Tisdale by Bourgault, bouncing in behind him, deflecting off his equipment. The Backs tied the game on a shorthanded 2-on-1 a minute later as Serdacnhy forced a turnover at centre ice, took the shot that was initially stopped by Tisdale but the rebound found Isaac Lambert who was in on the rush to tie the game at 4. 22 seconds later Serdachny would strike as the Silverbacks were allowed to walk in an get a shot away from the top of the slot, with Serdachny’s shot going low blocker side to give Salmon Arm the 5-4 lead. Then 30 seconds later the Smoke Eaters would get a goal back that would send the game to the third tied at 5, as Ethan Warrener takes the pass from Zach Michaelis infront, deked to his backhand and lifted the puck over the outstretched pad of Vanderkooi.

In the third the Smoke Eaters got back to playing a tight game that gave them success early on before their minor second period collapse. Disher would score the difference maker halfway through the third as the Smoke Eaters get the powerplay to pay off. Charlie Strobel went down the left wall wrapped the puck around to the front where Disher was waiting in space to make it 6-5 Smoke Eaters.

Tisdale had to be good late again for the Smoke Eaters, as he faced 44 shots in his third star performance in the win. The Silverbacks pushed but couldn’t get the tying goal. Teddy Lagerback would add an empty net goal with 1.8 seconds remaining to seal the victory for the Smoke Eaters. Trail now prepares for the post season as they get set for their first round playoff matchup against the Penticton Vees.