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Smokies take it on chin in Vernon on Saturday Night – Lose 6-2 –

After dropping a 4-3 overtime decision at home to Cowichan Valley Capitals on Friday night in Trail the Smokies travelled to Vernon on Saturday to face the Vipers.  The teams were tied with 34 points each and a win for the Smokies would have put them in sole possession of second place.  The Smokies, however, dropped a 6-2 decision to Vernon.  Trail now sits in third place with 34 points, two behind the Vipers with 36 points.

As in many of their games this season the Smokies got off to a slow start and found themselves down 3-1 after the first period.  Vernon opened the scoring at 3:39 of the period with a power play goal by Cooper Watson.  Trail answered at 6:16 when Kale Howarth scored his 19th of the season.  Assisting on the marker was Josh Lamframboise.  The Vipers then added two more goals before period end with goals at 18:01 and 19:17 bye Riley Brandt and Connor Clouston respectively.

In an evenly played second period the Vipers increased their lead to 5-1 with the only two goals of the period.  Jagger Williamson scored at 3:09 and Cooper Watson at 7:45.  Watson’s goal was the second power play goal of the game for the Vipers.

In the third Riley Brandt scored his second goal of the game at 10:46 putting the Vipers up 6-1.  Trail narrowed that margin to 4 when they scored at 13:31 on a goal by Ryan Moon and assisted on by Tyson Slater.  It was Moon’s fifth of the season.  That’s all the offence the Smokies could muster and the Vipers skated away with the 6-2 victory.

On the Vernon game, Smokies coaching staff commented, “Vernon came out and finished every hit, and it lead to turnovers and scoring chances.”  “We didn’t have the mindset that usually makes us successful.”  “We’ll have to regroup and rebound against Penticton on Wednesday and Vernon on Saturday.”

The Smokies have dropped 4 of their last 5 decisions with special teams playing an important role in those decisions.  In those games the Smokies have only capitalized twice on 20 power play chances while giving up 5 goals on 17 opposition chances.  The Smokies are successful when they are firing on all cylinders but of late they have not been able to consistently put together a full 60 minutes.

In their last meeting Smokies did a lot of celebrating against the Vees with a 5-3 victory.

They are hoping for the same thing when they travel to Penticton on Wednesday.

Trail’s next home game is on Saturday December 17 at the Cominco Arena when the host the Vernon Vipers.   Game time is 7:00 PM.  Featured at this home game will be the famous “Smokie Underwear Band.”  It is also “Teddy Bear Toss” night.  So, don’t forget to bring that bear.