Trail Smoke Eaters fail to complete comeback in 5-3 loss to Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail Smoke Eaters fail to complete comeback in 5-3 loss to Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday. Photo: Jim Bailey

Trail Smoke Eaters shut out Warriors, fall to Bucks

New additions contribute in Smoke Eaters first win of the new year

New recruits from the trade deadline paid immediate dividends for the Trail Smoke Eaters.

Trade additions Josh Orrico and Nic Remissong each scored in a 4-0 Smoke Eaters shutout of the West Kelowna Warriors on Friday at the Cominco Arena, before falling to the Cranbrook Bucks 5-3 Saturday in Cranbrook.

Smoke Eaters goalie Evan Fradette earned his first BCHL shutout stopping 30 shots in Trail’s first win of 2022.

Quinn Disher tallied the game winner, lifting in the rebound off a close in attempt from Connor Michaud to give the Smoke Eaters a 1-0 lead on West Kelowna with 1:06 to play in the second period.

The win was the first in three games over West K this year, and brings to an end a five-game losing streak for Trail.

Fradette stoned the Warriors off a rush on the ensuing face off, and Trail went the other way. Remissong sent Charlie Strobel in on a one-on-one that just came up short on a slick move on the West Kelowna defenceman. However, trailer Teddy Lagerback gathered the loose puck behind the net and banked it off of the Warriors goalie for a 2-0 lead.

Orrico made it 3-0 off a backdoor pass from Coalson Wolford at 6:54 of the third period, and Remissong finished a pretty pass from Disher on a 2-on-1 at 7:29 for the 4-0 final.

West Kelowna outshot Trail 30-28, and went 0-for-3 on the power play, while the Smoke Eaters went 1-for-5.

Fradette earned first star, Disher second and Wolford third star in Trail’s 13th win of the season.

In Saturday’s match, the Smokies’ trade deadline goalie Cole Tisdale came in to put out the fire after Cranbrook scored four times in the first period in their last match of the season against Trail.

Down 4-0, the Smokies mounted a second-period comeback. New blue-liner Kabore Dunn sent Disher down the right wing and a shot from the circle deflected off the Bucks defenceman and over the glove of goalie Nathan Airie to get Trail on the board at 17:44 of the middle frame.

Ninety-three seconds later, Josh Schenk then tallied his first of the season, skating out of the corner and out-waiting Airie to make it 4-2.

The Smoke Eaters went on the power play with just under eight minutes to play in the period, and forward Brady Hunter wired a shot from the right dot to cut the lead to one, for his 11th goal of the season.

Cranbrook forward Tyson Dyck notched his 18th before the period was out, and the Bucks shut down the Smoke Eaters offence in the third for the 5-3 victory.

Tisdale stopped 15 of 16 shots after relieving Fradette at 16:59 of the first period, as Trail outshot Cranbrook 39-30 overall. With the win, the Bucks take the season series 5-3.

Trail’s record falls to .500 at 13-13-1-0, while Cranbrook improves to 17-11-2-0 and sit in fifth place just two points behind the 19-12-0-0 Warriors.

Trail is back in action on Wednesday in Vernon before returning to the Trail Memorial Centre for a three-game set against the Prince George Spruce Kings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Game times are at 7 p.m. for Friday and Saturday, and at 6 p.m. on Sunday.

Read: Trail makes flurry of deals at trade deadline

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