The Trail Smoke Eaters opened the scoring but couldn’t build off of that momentum as they fell by a 3-1 score to the Langley Rivermen on Saturday night at George Preston Arena.
For the second straight night, the Smoke Eaters were first to get on the scoresheet and came from Bryce Anderson at the 7:26 mark of the opening frame. Trevor Zins played the puck deep inside the Rivermen zone with Tyler Ghirardosi collecting behind the net and centering a pass for Anderson in the slot as he buried his 6th goal of the season past the glove side of Rivermen netminder Shayne Battler for a 1-0 Smoke Eaters lead.
Langley responded at the 11:58 mark of the opening period after Trail failed to clear their defensive zone and Kalen Szeto was given a bit of space down low. Szeto raced his way to the bottom of the right face-off circle and squeaked a shot through the legs of Smoke Eaters goaltender Adam Marcoux to knot the game even at 1-1.
The 2nd period saw the goaltenders shine with the game remaining tied through 40 minutes with Adam Marcoux and Shayne Battler each keeping the game even. Marcoux was the busier of the two netminders in the 2nd period, stopping all 8 shots he faced and 19 of the 20 shots thrown his way in the game while Battler turned aside 5 shots in the middle stanza and 10 of the 11 he faced in the game.
Langley collected their first lead of the game early into the 3rd period as Trevor Ayre scored the eventual game winning goal at the 1:51 mark. Ayre worked his way in to the right face-off circle and let a shot go past the blocker side of Marcoux for the 2-1 lead early in the final period of play.
The Rivermen found an insurance marker at the 11:58 mark on an abbreviated power play that extended the lead to 3-1. Mark Gallant streamed up to the high slot and let a shot go that beat a screened Marcoux on the glove side to give Langley a two-goal advantage around the midway mark of the period.
The Rivermen shut down the Smoke Eaters attack in the final stages of the period, limiting Trail to just three shots in the game’s final frame and picking up a 3-1 win. Adam Marcoux turned aside 22 of the 25 shots he faced in the game in his 16th loss of the season while Shayne Battler stopped 13 of the 14 shots he faced for his 5th win of the year.
FINAL SCORE: 3-1 Rivermen
SHOTS ON GOAL: 25-14 Rivermen
SMOKE EATERS PP: 0/3
SMOKE EATERS PK: 1/2
1) Trevor Ayre (1-0-1)
2) Daneel Lategan (0-0-0)
3) Bryce Anderson (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Kalen Szeto (1-0-1)
The Smoke Eaters (12-16-4-2) conclude their three-game Mainland Division road trip with a Sunday matinee against the Chilliwack Chiefs (23-10-0-0) at the Prospera Centre. Puck drop is slated for 2:00 PM with the pre-game show getting underway at 1:50 PM on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.