The Trail Smoke Eaters kicked off the BCHL season Friday night in Cranbrook, and despite a late push dropped their opener to their East Kootenay rivals.
It really was the second period that was the difference in tonight’s game, as has been the case the last few times Trail and Cranbrook have facedoff. After Tyson Dyck opened the scoring in the first, he would double up his regular season goal tally with a second one just 3 minutes into the middle frame. From there the Bucks would score just past the midway point of the period after a good hold at the Smoke Eaters blue line lead to a odd man opportunity down low that Andrew King took advantage of to make it 3-0. Then after a impressive 5-on-3 penalty kill by the Bucks Theo Thrun would get a breakaway late in the period to send the home team to the break up 4-0 after forty minutes.
The Smoke Eaters started perfectly, as Teddy Lagerback would score his first BCHL goal by redirecting Corey Cunningham’s shot from the left wall through Nathan Airey, just 13 seconds in. The Bucks would counter that goal later in the period courtesy of Noah Quinn to restore the 5 goal lead. But from there, and missing their captain due to injury the Smoke Eaters added two more. One from Cam Moger who jumped into the rush with Josh Schenk with just over 7 minutes remaining. The other from Zach Michaelis who’s point shot on the powerplay, with time running down, beat Airey to make it a 5-3 game.
The Smoke Eaters will once again look at their second period. Take away those three goals and they win this one 3-2. Instead they start the season 0-1-0. They’ll look to flip the script and hand Cranbrook their first loss when they host them Saturday night at Cominco.