Jim Bailey | Trail Times
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Two goals in the final two minutes lifted the Trail Smoke Eaters to a 4-3 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday.
Trail forward Tyler Ghirardosi scored the winner when he broke in and beat Salmon Arm goalie Kyle Dumba with just 90 seconds remaining in regulation to give Trail the win. The goal was the Montrose native’s third in three games and sixth of the season, coming just six seconds after Andre Ghantous tied the game on a setup from Kale Howarth with Trail goalie Tanner Marshall on the bench.
The win gives the Smokies a weekend sweep after skating to a 6-4 win over Alberni Valley Bulldogs at home on Friday, keeping Trail atop the BCHL standings with a 19-5-1-0 record.
Trail affiliate player Blake Sidoni opened the scoring at 12:10 of the first period on the power play, finishing a nice setup from Ross Armour for the only goal of the period, as Trail outshot the Silverbacks 14-5.
Salmon Arm picked up the pace in the second period, and Trey Thomas beat Marshall at 16:28 and Trevor Adams made it 2-1 midway through the middle frame.
After ‘Backs d-man Max Wurtze was sent off for hooking, Armour tied it on the power play, tallying his 14th of the season on a Howarth pass with 1:09 to play. The ‘Backs outshot Trail 18-5 in the period, but Marshall was on his game, making several big saves for the Smoke Eaters.
Rhett Kingston put Salmon Arm up 3-2 with 7:35 to play, but the home team couldn’t hold on as Ghantous and Ghirardosi spoiled the celebration with back-to-back goals in the final two minutes.
Trail outshot Salmon Arm 31-29 and went 2-for-2 on the power play, the ‘Backs were 0-for-5. Howarth earned the game’s first star, Salmon Arm’s Adams was second star, and Marshall the third star.
In a wild match on Friday, Trail fought back from a 3-0 deficit to defeat the Bulldogs 6-4 at the Cominco Arena.
After a scoreless first period, Alberni got goals from Cole Poliziani, Tyler Vanuden and Christian Simeone for a 3-0 lead midway through the second period. However, goals from Howarth, Braeden Tuck, and Ghantous in a three-minute span tied the game heading into the third
Jackson Doucet put the Bulldogs up again 7:14 into the third, but Trail forward Levi Glasman tied it with his 13th of the season just 42 seconds later. Spencer McLean netted the winner with under nine minutes remaining, and Ghirardosi added an insurance marker into an empty net with 58 seconds on the clock as Trail got goals from six different players in the win.
Trail held a 34-28 edge in shots, and went 3-for-6 on the power play. Trail’s Jeremy Lucchini with three assists earned the game’s first star, with Bulldogs’ Poliziani and Simeone taking second and third star honours respectively.
Trail next hosts the Penticton Vees on Wednesday at the Cominco Arena with the puck drop at 7 p.m.