Salmon Arm scored three times in period two, and Angus Redmond stopped 31 shots for his first BCHL win as the SilverBacks moved two points ahead of the Smokies for the fourth Interior playoff berth by winning 3-1 Friday.
Redmond, appearing in only his second BCHL game with Salmon Arm, was beaten only by Smokies captain Garrett McMullen late in period two as the 'Backs took first blood in this weekend's home and home set.
A scoreless first period saw chances at both ends, including a flashy Adam Todd glove save off Jeff Kennedy and several chances in close by Brent Baltus, making his return to the lineup after missing Trail's last nine games.
Salmon Arm took the lead 8 minutes into period two, when Brett Fagerheim's wrister from the left-wing boards caught Todd by surprise, slipping through his legs.
Later in the frame, Steven Iacobellis put the hosts ahead 2-0, banging home a rebound on a Salmon Arm power-play while falling in front of the net. Josh Bowes' picture-perfect wrist shot gave the SilverBacks a 3-0 lead before an individual effort by McMullen put Trail on the board late in period two, as he darted across the low slot, slipping a backhand beneath Redmond's left pad.
Try as they might, the Smokies could not battle back. Redmond, who like colleague Adam Clark possesses a sizeable net presence, wasn't flashy, but didn't have to be, despite the Smoke Eaters enjoying two third-period power-play chances.
Baltus earned an assist in his return, and despite a couple of timing inefficiencies gave the Smokies a legitimate threat up front. No doubt his return to the lineup will play a huge role in Trail's drive to the playoffs.
My Three Stars:
1. Angus Redmond, Salmon Arm
2. Garrett McMullen, Trail
3. Steven Iacobellis, Salmon Arm
Up Next: the home-and-home series draws to a close Saturday in Trail. Safe to say the Smokies would very much like a split.
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