The Smokies scored three times in the second period, fired 53 shots at Adam Clark and crept back into a share of fourth in the Interior division after a 4-1 win over Salmon Arm Friday.
The Smoke Eaters came out with their most complete effort of 2013, while goaltender Adam Todd turned in a second straight solid performance, making 31 saves to improve his record to 5-0 in a Smoke Eaters shirt.
Trail jumped out of the gate, putting 17 shots at the Salmon Arm net but came away empty in a scoreless opening frame. The save of the period might well have come from Todd, who flashed the leather on a tremendous glove stop on Brayden Sherbinin on a SilverBacks power-play.
It took 4:05 for Trail to find the breakthrough in the middle frame. Mitch Foyle completed a give-and-go with a razor-sharp pass to Tyler Berkholtz from the right wing. The 20 year-old tapped home his 8th goal of the season, diving over Clark in the process.
Seven minutes later, Foyle would earn another assist. His wrist shot from the high slot was saved, but Jesse Knowler found the rebound on the doorstep, jamming home his third goal in two games.
Austin Adduono would convert a nifty centring feed from Connor Collett with less than two minutes to go in the frame, and the Smokies could have had more in period two, were it not for terrific stops from Clark and a hit crossbar by Riley McDougall.
SilverBacks defenseman (and leading scorer) Shane Hanna was ejected in the final minute of the third period for a blindside hit on Trail forward Luke Sandler. The 19 year-old Smoke Eater had to be helped off the ice, the hit precipitating a scrap between Hanna and Scott Davidson.
The SilverBacks earned some momentum while killing the major penalty, which stretched into the third period, testing Todd several times on subsequent power-plays before Evan Anderson finally broke his shutout bid in the final two minutes on a three-on-one rush.
McDougall added an empty-net goal in the final minute to seal Trail's second consecutive win, the 53 shots on target set a new season high. The Smokies looked calm, cool, and collected, and were the better side off the opening faceoff Friday, earning an important two points against a club with whom they will get quite familiar over the next week or so.
My Three Stars:
1. Adam Todd, Trail
2. Austin Adduono, Trail
3. Mitch Foyle, Trail
Up Next: Another big divisional tilt is set for Saturday, as the Smokies host West Kelowna. Gametime is 7:30.