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Returning to the friendly confines of the Cominco Arena for games 3 & 4 of the their best of 7 series with the Vernon Vipers the Smokies find themselves down 2 games to none after suffering a 2-0 loss on Friday night and a 5-2 loss on Saturday.

On Friday night the Smokies and Vipers played to a scoreless tie through two periods.  Vernon took a 1-0 lead at 2:11 of the third period on a goal by Jimmy Lambert.  Despite pressuring the Vipers the rest of the way the Smokies could not capitalize on their chances and Viper’s Steven Jandric scored into an empty net at 19:57 of the period after Trail pulled Marshall for the extra attacker.

Smokie’s goaltender, Linden Marshall, was named third star of the game facing 35 shots on the night and making 34 saves.  Both Teams were 0 for 3 on the power play.

Already playing with two AP players in the lineup the Smoke Eaters were concerned when Kale Howarth suffered an injury at the end of the second period and failed to return in the third.

On Saturday night the game started out much the same as on Friday and was scoreless until 15:27 of the first when Vernon’s Niko Karamanis scored to put the Vipers up 1-0.

In the second period Brett Stapley of the Vipers scored just 27 seconds into the period to put the Vipers up 2-0.  Jager Williamson, of the Vipers scored at 14:35 of the period to give the home team a 3-0 lead.  The Smokies made it 3-1 on a power play goal at 17:56 when Luke Santerno potted his 5th goal of the playoffs assisted on by Connor Brown Maloski and Carter Cochrane.  Less than a minute later the Vipers scored to make it 4-1.  Trying to mount a comeback the Smokies scored at 12:57 when Connor Brown Maloski potted his 7th of the playoffs with assists going to Luke Santerno and Andre Ghantous.  With their goaltender pulled for an extra attacker the Smokies were pressuring the Vipers when Vernon’s Jager Williamson broke away and scored into the empty net to seal the win for Vernon, 5-2.

Luke Santerno of the Smokies was named third star of the game with a goal and an assist.  The Smokies were 1 for 6 on the power play and Vernon went 1 for 5.


Of concern to the Smokies was an injury to Josh Lamframboise in the second period after taking a hard check into the boards.  He didn’t return for the remainder of the game.

The Smokies now return home for games 3 & 4 on Monday and Tuesday night at the Cominco Arena.  Game times are 7:00 pm both nights.