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Howarth celebrating one of his three goals.

The number two ranked Junior A team in the nation visited the Cominco Arena last night with hopes of extending their five game winning streak to six as they faced the hometown Smoke Eaters.  The Smokies, however, had a different plan in mind and defeated the Vees 5-3 with a strong performance.  Smokies coaching staff commented, “It was a back and forth game that saw a few odd bounces.”  “With the team leading 3-1 after two periods some teams might have some doubt creep in when Penticton came back to tie it up early in the third but we got timely saves and timely goals for the win.”  “Our guys played with confidence and we don’t think doubt ever crept into our play.”  “The game was a positive step for our team to protect home ice against the division leaders.”  “Special teams were great tonight and it was a good start heading into a 3 game weekend.”

In an evenly played first period the Vees opened the scoring when Jonny Tychonick scored at 13:26.

In the second period the Smokies took a 3-1 lead as they scored three unanswered goals.  Kale Howarth of the Smokies scored all three of Trail’s goals in the second.  He scored a power play goal at 1:09 with assists going to Luke Santerno and Braeden Tuck.  Howarth added his second  at 4:21 assisted on by Connor Brown Maloski and Mithcell Stapley.  Howarth’s third of the night came at 5:30 with Luke Santerno and Mitchell Stapley earning the assists.  It was Trail’s second power play goal of the night and second in the period.

In the third the Vees came back to tie the game at three on goals by Ty Amonte and James Milller.  Time of the goals were 3:43 and 7:03.  The Smokies, however, kept up the pressure and it paid off when Spencer McLean scored the winning goal at 13:21 on a feed from Blaine Caton.  Luke Santerno scored his 22nd of the season at 17:14 to clinch the win for the Smokies.  Jonas Gordon assisted on the goal.

Kale Howarth of the Smokies, with three goals on the night was named first star of the game.  Spencer McLean was named second star while Ty Amonte of the Vees was name third star.  Smokies, Kyle Chernenkoff was named the Fortis Energy Player of the Game.

With the win the Smokies moved into a second place tie with the Vernon Vipers.   Both teams have 31 points. The Merritt Centennials have 28 points.

The Smokies next home game is on Friday December 2 at the Cominco Arena when they host Alberni Valley.  Game time is 7:30 PM.