Trail, BC – Steve Koshey and Nick Sandor gave Trail (10-20-1-1) two different leads, but the Smokies couldn't hang on against the 5th ranked team in Canada. Beau Bennett's 2 goals powered the Vees to a 4-2 victory on the 60th anniversary of the Cominco Arena.
Trail fired 16 shots on the Vees in the first period. Joel Rumpel was exceptional in the Penticton goal and kept his team from getting into a large early hole. Only Koshey's blast from the left point eluded Rumpel for a 1-0 Trail lead after 20 minutes.
Ben Sexton's 4th goal of the season tied the game for Penticton early in the second period.
Trail answered back as Travis St. Denis and Mike Betz set up Nick Sandor for his 20th of the season just as a Smokies power play expired. Sandor took a pass from Betz and put the puck between his and Rumpel's legs to give Trail their second lead.
The Smokies didn't hang on to that lead for long as Bennett struck on the power play with a highlight reel goal on the man advantage.
The Vees power play struck again in the third period as Garrett Milan knocked in the rebound off a Bennett shot to give Penticton their first lead of the game. Bennett then put it out of reach by scoring his second of the game with a quick release from the top of the slot.
Rumpel stopped 29 of 31 Trail shots for the win. Kiefer Smiley as sharp for the Smokies with 31 saves on 35 Vees shots.
ON THE TRAIL: The loss snapped Trail's three game winning streak ... Graeme Strukoff and Tye Lewis were still out with lower body injuries, Josh McEwan was scratched ... Betz extended his point streak to six games with an assist on the Sandor goal. Sandor has now scored 20 goals in his last 18 games after not scoring in his first 14 ... The win for Penticton breaks their strange streak of four straight overtime losses at the Cominco Arena ... The Smoke Eaters next action is in Salmon Arm on Friday night.
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