Sebastien Pare opened and closed the scoring as Merritt upended the Smokies 4-1 in Chilliwack Sunday.
The Centennials forward, who scored a hat-trick against Trail in pre-season play last week, opened proceedings with a wrister from the right wing that handcuffed starter Braden Krogfoss. Merritt would add a second goal later in the frame, as Silvan Harper converted an end-board carom.
After a scoreless second, Trail would claw back to within one 1:13 into period three as Shane Poulsen glided down the left wing at the end of a power-play and snapped a puck short-side on Cents netminder Tyler Steel.
Merritt's two-goal lead would be restored minutes later on a 5-on-3, as Sean Maktaak converted a cross-crease feed from Regan Soquila for his second goal in as many games.
Pare would round out the scoring on another Merritt power-play after a long, cross-ice feed from former Smokies AP Dane Birks, who had two assists.
Trail was unable to generate much offensively through the first two periods, but came on with force in the third out-shooting Merritt 20-4. As was the case last night, untimely penalties proved costly as the Cents took advantage on third period power-plays.
The Smokies will surely use three full days of practice to their advantage ahead of another two-game away swing next weekend. No doubt the BCHL Showcase has served as a real eye-opener for everyone as the regular season kicks into gear.
My Three Stars:
1. Sebastien Pare, Merritt
2. Tyler Steel, Merritt
3. Shane Poulsen, Trail
Up Next: Trail will pay their only visit to Prince George this coming Friday to kick off a two-game trip. Game time at the Coliseum is 7 pm.
Bits 'n Bites: Smokies forward Jake Lucchini left the game in the second period after taking a stick in the face from Pare. The 17 year-old took several stitches in the mouth but otherwise was unharmed.
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