There wasn’t much more the Smoke Eaters could have done on Wednesday night in Vernon as they were all over the Vipers, who were backed by strong goaltending en route to a 2-1 shootout win over the Smoke Eaters.
The Smoke Eaters came flying out of the gate to open the game. A theme that was constant for the rest of the night. Trail outshot the Vipers 14-4 in the first period as they brought wave after wave of pressure. All of which were met by Roan Clarke. As the Smoke Eaters look back in this game they’ll see they created more than enough chances to win the game, but the final execution is what they’ll be focused on moving forward.
In the second the Vipers opened the scoring on the powerplay as Luke Buss finally got a shot through the crowd past Fradette at 9:09 into the middle frame. The Smoke Eaters didn’t take long to reply with an equalizer however. Ridge Dawson who was one of the players driving the play tonight, drove the puck into the Vipers zone on the left hand side dropped off for Jordan Hendry who made no mistake in scoring his first of the year.
The teams would play to a scoreless third period despite the chances either side created. The Vipers who got more and more comfortable as the game went on were able to give a bit of push back to the Smoke Eaters waves of pressure. Trail earned a late powerplay with just 30s remaining in the game that they failed to capitalize on both in regulation and as it continued into overtime. It’s not often you’re given those chances and that will be another one that will be on the Smoke Eaters minds as they head home. Despite not having either Corey Cunningham or Zach Michaelis the offensive output was there, the Smoke Eaters just ran into a hot goaltender. The Vipers would hold out to force a shootout after failing to score on a powerplay in overtime of their own that Fradette and company defended with excellence. Both Smoke Eater shooters failed to score as the Vipers 1st and 3rd shooters beat Fradette, giving the vipers the extra point.
The Smoke Eaters now get set for a triple header on home ice against the Prince George Spruce Kings, beginning on Friday night