Daniel Schuler scored twice, including the winner in 3-on-3 overtime as the Powell River Kings edged the Smokies 3-2 Saturday at the Hap Parker Arena.
Schuler poked home his own rebound after James D'Andrea made a terrific save on his first attempt to extend the Kings' unbeaten start at home to seven games.
Trail opened the scoring early in the second period on a sharp wrister from Adam Boytinck. In a goal eerily reminiscent to his tally last week against Penticton, the 19 year-old roofed a shot past Powell River goaltender Jamie Phillips.
It took just nineteen seconds for the Kings to reply, courtesy of leading scorer Cohen Adair, and the home side then took the lead late in the middle frame thanks to Schuler.
The Smokies found a way to level the score on a third-period power-play, though. Erik Cooper jammed his second equaliser in as many nights home midway through the period, ending Powell Rivers' 100% home penalty-killing record.
Overtime proved memorable. After a delayed holding penalty was assessed to the Kings, Trail's Nicholas Wong was assessed a minor for a check to the head. The only thing was, Wong wasn't at all involved in the hit, and took the ice for the ensuing power-play before the whistle was blown and the Smokies were assessed an additional bench minor. Schuler would take Powell River off the power-play 24 seconds later, and upon stepping back onto the ice in the three-on-three portion of extra time the RIT commit put home his seventh goal of the season to end things.
Saturday was another night the Smokies could have used the services of leading scorer Clayton Chessa. Trail found out hours before the game the 20 year-old's involvement in a Friday scrap with Chilliwack defenseman Matthew Hutchinson meant he was suspended for the game against the Kings. Powell River meanwhile, were without four players (Evan Richardson, Sean Maguire, Jordan Paddock and Teagan Waugh) who are en route to Team Canada West camp in advance of the World Junior 'A' Challenge in Langley.
Another strong performance tonight from D'Andrea between the pipes for Trail, too. The 19 year-old made 39 saves including a flurry of action in the early part of the first period that prevented Powell River from gaining an early advantage.
Did You See: The pay-per-view feed didn't catch what precipitated the event, but Smokies d-man Brandon Egli earned his first BCHL fight in a second-period tilt with Jarryd Leung.
Up Next: The Smokies get another early start tomorrow (I understand today's trip to the Sunshine Coast began at about 7:00 am) to head to Duncan for a 3:30 start against former coach Jim Ingram and the Cowichan Valley Capitals.
KIJHL Tonight: The Beaver Valley Nitehawks took over first place in the Neil Murdoch division with a 3-2 home win over Nelson. Former Smokie Keanan Patershuk scored the late winner. The Golden Rockets scored three times in the third period to double Castlegar 4-2.