Friday, September 14, 2012

Smoke Eaters 4 Spruce Kings 3 (OT)

Garrett McMullen scored Trail's first and last goal as the Smokies rallied for a 4-3 overtime win in Prince George Friday.

The Trail captain knocked down a clearing attempt, took two steps and fooled Spruce Kings starter Liam McLeod with a long wrister 3:56 into overtime to give the Smoke Eaters their first victory of the 2012-13 season.

Things started out well for the home side, as PG took a 2-0 lead into the first intermission on a wrap-around from Bryant Christian and a last-gasp one-timer by Cam Lawson as time expired in the opening frame.

McMullen would put Trail on the board on a one-timer of his own early in period two, converting a pass from Scott Davidson from behind the PG net. 65 seconds later, AP callup Justin Rai would restore the two-goal advantage for the hosts, a lead they carried into the third period.

But despite a lengthy 5-on-3 thanks to two checking to the head penalties on Trail, the Spruce Kings could not widen the gap. Less than a minute after Trail regained full strength, Tanner Clarkson wired home a puck that bounced to his stick in the left-wing circle to cut the Spruce Kings' lead to 3-2.

Defenseman Shane Poulsen would level the score midway through the third on a long wrister for his second goal in as many games.

Prince George was unable to capitalize on a late third-period power-play, as Trail's forecheck grew stronger and more effective as the game crescendoed into extra time.

It was that forecheck that led to McMullen's winner, as Trail won against Prince George for the first time in 8 tries.

Like last Sunday's game against Merritt, the Smokies got better as they settled into the game. Trail's penalty-kill was also much-improved, as the club collapsed well and limited Prince George's chances from high-percentage areas in the offensive zone. It was a real character win for a Trail squad that features 12 rookies and a real boost to the club's collective confidence.

My 3 Stars:
1. Garrett McMullen, Trail
2. Cam Lawson, Prince George
3. Shane Poulsen, Trail

Up Next: The Smokies will spend the night in Williams Lake before traveling to Merritt for another date with the Centennials Saturday. Faceoff from the Nicola Valley Memorial Arena is at 7:30.

Sent wirelessly from my BlackBerry device on the Bell network.
Envoyé sans fil par mon terminal mobile BlackBerry sur le réseau de Bell.

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