Sunday, September 30, 2012

Smoke Eaters 3 Kings 2

Jake Lucchini fires home his first BCHL goal during Sunday's second period (Randy Emery photo)

A last-minute winner from Brent Baltus helped the Smokies to their third home victory in as many tries, 3-2 over the Powell River Kings Sunday.

Baltus one-timed a hot pass from the right corner from linemate Scott Davidson for his second goal of the night, as Trail won for the second consecutive outing and for the first time at home against the Kings in five years.

Powell River opened the scoring 5:07 into the first period, as James Neil fired a puck past Lyndon Stanwood from the right circle. The Smokies would equalize before the opening frame was out, though, as Baltus ripped home a snapper from the slot on a nifty feed from Davidson to up his goal-scoring streak to three games.

Trail would score the only goal of the second period on a 2-on-1, as Connor Collett found rookie Jake Lucchini streaking down the right wing. The local product showed great patience, sliding the puck past Kings goaltender Jonah Imoo into the back of the net for his first goal in orange and black.

Powell River threw everything at the net in period three, and equalized at the 11:16 mark of the period as Jarryd Leung found the puck on his stick at the side of the goal after a point shot deflected multiple times on its way to the net. And while the Smokies were outchanced through the final twenty minutes, they managed to find the back of the net thanks to Baltus with 48.6 seconds left on the clock.

Despite having been shut out twice in a row, the short-handed Kings came to play today. Stanwood had to make 37 saves to record his fourth victory of the season, and the Kings got ever more tenacious in the offensive zone as time went on.

Baltus continues to impress for Trail. The 20 year-old put in a lot of work over the off-season, and seems not only more dangerous on the ice, but more savvy too. Aside from some tense moments in the third, the Smokies put in another strong performance Sunday, and after a less-than-stellar start to the three-game weekend, Trail can hold its heads high and take the momentum from two weekend wins into another big divisional matchup on Tuesday.

My Three Stars:
1. Brent Baltus, Trail
2. Jarryd Leung, Powell River
3. Scott Davidson, Trail
Up Next: Trail will try for its fourth straight home-ice win to start the season with another matchup with the West Kelowna Warriors on Tuesday. Puck drop is at 7:30.

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