RECAP: Late Comeback Sees Smoke Eaters Fall To Silverbacks
The Trail Smoke Eaters surrendered a two-goal 3rd period lead as they dropped their sixth consecutive game with a 4-2 setback to the Salmon Arm Silverbacks on Saturday night at the Shaw Centre.
Layne Sniher and Kent Johnson scored in the first and second period as the Smoke Eaters dominated play for the opening 40 minutes of the game but the Silverbacks made their way back with a four-goal third period, including a goal by Sam McBean with just over a minute remaining, that saw Trail fall by a two-goal score in Salmon Arm.
The Smoke Eaters were first on the scoreboard after a strong opening period of play and took a 1-0 lead courtesy of the power play. Kent Johnson worked his way into the zone and passed off to the right side for Layne Sniher, who moved into the right circle and beat Silverbacks netminder Matthew Armitage with a shot on the glove side for his first career BCHL goal and a one-goal advantage at the 14:29 mark.
Trail played a very good opening 20 minutes and it showed in the score line as well as on the shot clock with the Smoke Eaters holding a 14-6 shots on goal advantage after 20 minutes of play. Adam Marcoux was dialed into the Smoke Eaters crease, making saves on all six shots he faced in the period.
It was another strong start to the 2nd period for the visitors as Trail continued to file pucks toward the net but Silverbacks netminder Matthew Armitage kept his team in the game before Trail doubled their lead at the 16:37 mark and came on a 5-on-3 power play in the later stages of the period.
Kent Johnson received the puck on the glove side goal line at the blocker side and sent a pass across on the back door to the blocker side for Braeden Tuck as Armitage came across and made an outstanding pad stop before the Smoke Eaters dug at the rebound and eventually forced the puck across the goal line. Johnson was credited with his 10th goal of the season doubled their lead to 2-0 after 40 minutes.
The Silverbacks made their way back into the game at the 4:58 mark of the 3rd period, getting within a goal on a scramble at the front of the net. The puck was centered from behind the net with Logan Shaw backhanding a shot through Marcoux to cut the deficit to a 2-1 Smoke Eaters lead.
Salmon Arm got a late power play with 3:17 remaining in the game and took advantage as they tied the game at the 17:52 mark of the final period. Akito Hirose snapped a point shot toward the goal with Marcoux making the initial save but a rebound popped free for Aiden Jenner as he slid the puck past the left pad to even the score at 2-2.
Just 27 seconds later, Sam McBean gave Salmon Arm their first lead of the game at the 18:19 mark that would turn out to be the eventual game winning goal. The defender moved from the right point to the slot and zipped a shot over the glove side of Marcoux and gave Salmon Arm a 3-2 lead.
The Smoke Eaters got a power play of their own with just over a minute to go and a chance to get the game tied to force overtime but Hudson Schandor would dash any hopes of that with a shorthanded empty net goal from the defensive zone and capped off a 4-2 victory for the Silverbacks.
Adam Marcoux turned aside 23 of the 26 shots he faced in the game in his 8th loss of the season while Matthew Armitage was excellent in his Silverback debut, stopping 31 of the 33 shots thrown his way in his first career BCHL win.
FINAL SCORE: 4-2 Silverbacks
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33-27 Smoke Eaters
SMOKE EATERS PP: 2/5
SMOKE EATERS PK: 0/1
1) Sam McBean (1-0-1)
2) Matthew Armitage (31 saves on 33 shots)
3) Kent Johnson (1-1-2)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Wyatt Marlow (0-0-0)
The Smoke Eaters (7-8-3-1) embark on their second trip to Vancouver Island of the season as they face-off against the Victoria Grizzlies (11-7-0-1) at the Q Centre on Friday night. Puck drop is slated for 7 PM from the provincial capital with the pre-game show getting underway at 6:50 PM with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.