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Smokies grab three points at Bauer Showcase tournament

The Nelson Daily Sports
By The Nelson Daily Sports
September 9th, 2013

The Trail Smoke Eaters opened the 2013-14 Junior A season in grand style, picking up three of four weekend points at the Bauer BC Hockey League Showcase tournament at Prospera Centre in Chilliwack.

Trail rebounded from a 4-3 overtime loss Friday against the Langley Rivermen to dump the Smokies Cowichan Valley Capitals 6-2 at
Prospera Centre Sunday.

After allowing Cowichan to grab a 1-0 lead, Trail scored six straight goal en route to the lopsided victory.

Brent Lamont and Bryce Knapp each scored twice to lead the Trail offensive attack. Valik Chichkin and Travis Stephens, acquired from Coquitlam earlier in the week, added singles.

Trail goaltender Dustin Nikkel, the KIJHL’s top netminder last season, made 36 saves, 17 in the first period alone, to collect his first win as a Smoke Eater.

Friday, Langley captain Mitch McLain scored Friday’s winner 22 seconds into overtime to pace the Rivermen in a see-saw affair that saw seven lead changes.

Trail opened the scoring 6:23 into the first period when Jesse Knowler spun and fired a low shot through Rivermen starter James Barr.

The Lower Mainland opponents replied with two unanswered goals in period two, first on a short-handed breakaway from Matt Ustaski, then took the lead on the first of two from forward Brendon Kearney.

Trail captain Adam Wheeldon notched his first goal of the season 3:03 into the third on a Scott Davidson rebound, before Kearney’s second goal put Langley up 3-2 with 11:09 remaining.

The Smokies would benefit from a late third-period power-play as first-year BCHLer Jake Kauppila opened his 2013-14 account to tie the game 3-3 with 2:09 left in regulation.

The Michigan Tech commit finished Friday with two points in his first BCHL game.
McLain’s seeing-eye wrister on a Langley power-play early in OT sealed Trail’s fate Friday, as the Smokies were forced to settle with a point. Adam Todd made 25 saves in his season debut.

The Smokies return to Cominco Arena for their 2013-14 home opener Friday, September 13th when they host the Penticton Vees in the first of two weekend meetings. For ticket information, call (250) 368-5000.

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