Trevor Hills scored 39 seconds into overtime to lift the Chilliwack Chiefs to a see-saw, 4-3 victory over the Trail Smoke Eaters in front of 1,704 fans at Prospera Centre Friday.
Hills found himself alone in the slot, and wristed a quick shot into the top corner over the shoulder of Smokies goaltender James D'Andrea to give the Chiefs their first victory in six tries.
Chilliwack opened the scoring midway through the first period on a power-play, as Derek Huisman juked his way around a Trail defender to put home his team-leading 7th goal.
But the Smokies would answer back with force in the second period. Adam Fares marked his return to the lineup with a quick shot of his own off a lost faceoff to level the score at 4:33, then nine minutes later centred a puck to Taylor House for his first BCHL goal to give Trail a 2-1 advantage through 40 minutes.
The Chiefs would reply with two goals of their own in the third period. Kit Sitterley poked a puck into an open net after it was kicked on goal by Josh Hansen, and then before the period was seven minutes old Jeremy Gossard converted a nifty two-on-one feed from Garrett Forster to give Chilliwack a 3-2 lead.
Smokies vet Erik Cooper secured the point for Trail with a hard slapshot from the high slot with only 3:24 remaining in regulation time.
Did You See: Despite having a cheering section in the stands with signs that spelled C-H-E-S-S-A, Smokies leading scorer Clayton Chessa was tossed in the first period for a multi-fight situation involving Chilliwack's Matthew Hutchinson. The incident, which also featured a centre-ice tilt between Clayton McEwan and Forster, was one of the few sparks in a game that lacked intensity.
Dead Air: Thanks to a collision that closed Highway 3 near Princeton for most of the day, I was regrettably unable to make tonight's game in Chilliwack, and won't be in Powell River for tomorrow's game either. Needless to say, it was a very frustrating day that resulted in a seven-hour car trip that landed me right back at home in Castlegar in time to catch the pay-per-view feed. My apologies for the inability to provide any Smokies broadcasts this weekend, but both away games next weekend (SA and Westside) will be on Ustream.
Up Next: The Smokies have an early wake-up call to travel to Powell River to face the Kings Saturday. A daunting task to be sure, as the defending Coastal champs are undefeated at home.