Sunday, January 15, 2012

Chiefs 5 Smoke Eaters 2

Mathieu Tibbet scored twice, and a thirty-second stretch of the third period quashed a Smoke Eaters rally in a 5-2 Chilliwack victory Sunday afternoon at Cominco Arena.

Tibbet streaked down the right wing on a Chilliwack rush 13 minutes into the opening frame and wired a shot through the legs of Lyndon Stanwood to open the scoring, then just over a minute later the Chiefs extended their lead when Trevor Hills tapped home a rebound off an Anderson White wrister.

The big highlight of a rather dry second period was a scrap between Trail's Adam Wheeldon and the Chiefs' Garrett Forster. Both youngsters landed heavy right hands in the centre-ice tilt.

Chilliwack added to their lead early in the third when Tibbet scored his second of the afternoon, rifling home a shot from the left side after Jeremy Gossard poked a loose puck in his direction.

But Trail would answer back on consecutive power-plays. After Shay Laurent put Chilliwack down by two men after getting tangled with the Smokies' Brent Baltus, the Nanaimo product whipped home a shot right off a faceoff in the offensive zone to put the Smokies on the board. Moments later, Tanner Clarkson would cut the lead to 3-2 after a pretty entry feed from Riley McDougall. The West Kelowna product out-waited Chiefs goaltender Mitch Gillam to backhand home his team-leading ninth goal of the season.

Two quick goals quickly snuffed out the Trail rally. On a three-on-one Spencer Graboski finished a rush by bearing down the middle and beating Stanwood low, then 30 seconds later on another odd-man break Gossard one-timed a shot past the left pad of the Smokies goaltender.

Trail outshot their opposition for the fourth consecutive game, but Gillam's workmanlike 33 saves kept the Smoke Eaters at bay.

Up Next: Trail wraps up a five-game homestand Wednesday against Salmon Arm before playing the following five games on the road.

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