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The Smoke Eaters fall one short of a comeback as the Vipers add an empty net goal to win 5-3 on Sunday afternoon.

The start was going to be key given the early game time. For the Smoke Eaters they started well with a power play goal at 4:20 of the first period from Micheal Colella who has hit the 60point mark. Colella found the rebound in front of Riley Herbst after a quick shot from Owen Ozar surprised the Vernon netminder, leading to the rebound for Colella. The Vipers then scored four in a row with three of them coming in a span of 1:36. The Vipers got bounces and deflections to go their way as the Smoke Eaters we’re under siege in the back half of the first. With the Vipers fourth goal they were able to force a goaltender change as Logan Terness came in for Matteo Paler-Chow. The Smoke Eaters answered with Jaden Senkoe’s fifth of the year just 1:34 after the Vipers took a 4-1 lead.

In the second the Vipers slowed the game down making things difficult for the Smoke Eaters. The teams traded chances but Kent Johnson got the only goal of the period on a great pass from Diarmad DiMurro for his 40th goal of the season.

The Smoke Eaters came close to tying the game in the closing minute of the second on a great rush by Matt Osadick, who put the puck through the crease just missing Connor Sweeney.

In the third it was mostly the Smoke Eaters who had the puck as they pushed for the tying goal. They lost some valuable time as the Vipers were awarded back to back power plays, Trail did get an opportunity late on the man advantage with under four minutes to go but couldn’t beat Herbst despite Powell Connor ringing one off the crossbar. The Vipers added one with an empty net goal in the final minute to seal the victory.

The Smoke Eaters finish the season series against the Vipers with a 4-1-1 record. They’re back in action this Friday, back on home ice against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs.