It was an instant BCHL classic on Friday night as the Smoke Eaters turned around a 3-0 deficit in the first period to come all the way back and beat the Spruce Kings in a shootout.
It’s becoming a common theme but the the Smoke Eaters were the better team out of the game on Friday night, but due to a few bounces and errors they were in a 3-0 hole before they knew it. The Spruce Kings opened the scoring on a bounce off the end wall that fooled Cole Tisdale and ricocheted of Tisdale into the crease before being poked in by Luc Laylin. Prince George would capitalize again a few minutes later as Cam Moger misplayed his outlet pass that Nick Rheaume gratefully took and beat Tisdale for a 2-0 PG lead. Rowan Miller made it 3-0 three minutes late with another odd bounce, as his shot went off the post, off Tisdale’s back and in. The Smoke Eaters would get a pivotal bounce back goal just three minutes later as Brady Hunter scored his first of three on a misplay by the Spruce Kings netminder.
The Smoke Eaters then worked their way back into the game with a huge second period where, despite only scoring one goal, the momentum the Smoke Eaters created was carried into the third period. After a dominating shift the line of Charlie Strobel, Brady Hunter and Teddy Lagerback with Cam Moger and Jordan Hendry on the blueline finally got rewarded as Lagerback scored his 16th of the year to make it a one goal game.
The Spruce Kings would score six minutes later to restore their two goal lead and take it into the third period with Nick Rheaume scoring his second of the night.
In the third the Smoke Eaters didn’t let up as Hunter would score two on the powerplay to bring the Smoke Eaters level. The First one came 7 minutes into the third as on the Smoke Eaters fourth powerplay of the night came through with a quick shot from the right circle.
Five minutes later the Smoke Eaters were once again on the powerplay, this time on a 5-on-3 they got their well deserved equalizer. As Hunter capped off his first BCHL Hat-Trick and his fourth point of the night to tie the game at 4.
This game then needed overtime despite two late chances for the Spruce Kings. Prince George had the best chances of the extra frame but couldn’t find an answer to Tisdale who made a huge save on a John Harrington breakaway late in overtime.
From there we went to a shootout. The Smoke Eaters started with Quinn Disher who picked the the corner on Jordan Fairlie. The next shot for Prince George produced a highlight reel save from Tisdale to keep the Spruce Kings off the board.
Hunter would miss on his shot, Rheaume would be stopped by the pad of Tisdale which lead to the opportunity to win the game for Teddy Lagerback.
The Smoke Eaters complete the comeback, battling all the way back from 3-0 down to take the extra point in the shootout over Prince George. These team’s will do it all over again Saturday night in the second of three games at Cominco.