PORT ALBERNI, B.C. - The Trail Smoke Eaters got an outstanding 43-save effort out of Tanner Marshall but fell in overtime to the Alberni Valley Bulldogs on Saturday night by a 4-3 score at the Alberni Valley Multiplex.
Trevor Zins scored with just 30 seconds remaining in regulation to force the game into overtime where the Smoke Eaters fell for the second time this season in the extra frame. Marshall turned aside 43 of the 47 shots he faced in a tough loss in goal for the Smoke Eaters.
The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring in the first period after a pair of power plays had expired, including a 1:07 5-on-3-man advantage before Tyler Ghirardosi put the visitors ahead. Trevor Zins sent a puck to the front of the goal where it was kicked out to the right circle for an open Ghirardosi as he ripped his 3rd goal of the season past the glove side of Bulldogs netminder Cole Demers to give Trail a 1-0 lead.
The Bulldogs replied just over two minutes later at the 9:55 mark as Mitch Deelstra banged in a loose rebound of the pads of Smoke Eaters goaltender Tanner Marshall on the blocker side after a point shot to tie the game at 1-1, which is where things would stand after the opening 20 minutes.
Each goaltender made their presence felt in the opening frame with Marshall turning aside a breakaway chance for Isaac Tonkin-Palmer but gloved down a wrist shot for one of his 14 saves in the opening period on 15 shots. Cole Demers turned aside 13 of the 14 shots he faced in the first period to keep the game even at 1-1.
The 2nd period saw much of the same from the first 20 minutes with the Bulldogs and Smoke Eaters each getting some opportunities to find the back of the net but it would be Trail who would get ahead and take a 2-1 lead at the 15:38 mark of the middle stanza.
A shot from the right side came up and over the glove side of Demers after he made the stop before Carter Jones wrapped the puck around on the blocker side for goals in back-to-back games and his 3rd of the season giving Trail a 2-1 lead.
Marshall continued his strong play in the 2nd frame with 11 saves on the 11 shots he faced in the period, including a big 2-on-1 stop off of Nathan Seitz to help the Smoke Eaters enter the final regulation period with a one-goal advantage.
The Bulldogs continued to pressure in the third period, eventually breaking through and tying the game at the 14:39 mark to get the game even at 2-2. Grayson Valente threw a shot on from the right point with the rebound being batted out of mid-air by Keaton Mastrodonato from the bottom of the left face-off circle to tie the game.
Just 1:01 later, Aaron Bohlinger gave the Bulldogs their first lead of the game at the 15:40 mark right off of a face-off win. Bohlinger let a wrist shot go from the right point that beat a heavily screened Marshall to make it a 3-2 game.
The Smoke Eaters got the game tied with just 30 seconds left in regulation and came courtesy of Trevor Zins, letting a slap shot go from the blue line that got through a maze of bodies in front of Demers for his 3rd goal of the season and forced overtime.
Ryan Miotto ended the game 1:46 into the extra frame after collecting his own rebound on a left-wing net drive where Marshall handled the first shot but Miotto poked the puck past his blocker side and propelled the Bulldogs to a 4-3 overtime win.
Tanner Marshall was excellent in the game for the Smoke Eaters, making 43 saves on 47 shots in the overtime defeat, his second loss of the season while Cole Demers stopped 21 of the 24 shots thrown his way in the game for his 1st win of the season.
FINAL SCORE: 4-3 Bulldogs (OT)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 47-24 Bulldogs
SMOKE EATERS PP: 0/4
SMOKE EATERS PK: 1/2
1) Tanner Marshall (43 saves on 47 shots)
2) Cole Demers (21 saves on 24 shots)
3) Keaton Mastrodonato (1-0-1)
Fortis Energy Player of the Game: Darren Rizzolo (0-1-1)
The Smoke Eaters (5-3-0-2) cap off their three-game Island road swing with their first matchup of the season against the Nanaimo Clippers (2-7-0-0) at the Frank Crane Arena. Puck drop is slated for 2:00 PM with the game being broadcasted live on mixlr.com/trail-smoke-eaters as well as HockeyTV.com beginning at 1:50 PM with the Voice of the Smoke Eaters, Trevor Miller.