Here is the summary I posted on the Smoke Eaters official website after tonight's win.
Prince George, BC – Trail (5-14-1-1) assistant coach Brian Youngson pulled a bit of a trick to help the Smokies get a treat on Halloween night. He told Darnell Dyck before the third period that the game winning goal was on the Chilliwack native's stick. Youngson was right. Dyck tipped in a Tommy Rizzardo point shot to give the Smoke Eaters a 4-3 victory in Prince George (7-11-1-1).
The goal capped off a third period comeback for Trail that started with affiliate player Jesse Niemi's first career BCHL goal. Niemi tapped in the rebound out of mid air from a Thomas Abenante shot. It was the Salmon Arm native's second point of the night in his second BCHL game. Niemi joined Trail as an AP this weekend after scoring 25 points in 15 games with Fernie in the KIJHL so far this season.
The Smokies carried the play at even strength, but Prince George had a 3-2 lead after the second period thanks to their special teams edge. While Trail couldn't convert any of their seven power plays, the Spruce Kings went 2 for 4. Justin Fillion was the offensive catalyst for Pringe George as he had assists on all three of their goals. Jonathan Gibson, Lyndon Martel and Joe Morgan scored for the home team.
Trail forward Nick Sandor opened the scoring only 42 seconds into the game when he tucked in the rebound from another Rizzardo point shot. Sandor has scored all 9 of his goals this season in the last 8 games.
Niemi and Dyck picked up assists on Smokies defenceman Mitch Kaufmann's second of the season early in the second period. Dyck was named the game's first star as he reached the 11 point mark in his 20th game. It took him 53 games to get to that same mark last season with Surrey.
Garrett Beckwith allowed 3 goals on 8 shots in the first half of the game. The Trail goaltender rebounded with 22 straight saves to shut the door for a Smokies victory. It was Beckwith's first win away from the Cominco Arena, and only the second road win of the season for the Smokies. Prince George goaltender Steve Papciak made 31 saves on 35 Trail shots.
Trail's next action is tomorrow afternoon in Quesnel. The Millionaires beat Trail 5-1 at the Cominco Arena on September 26th. They've lost twice this weekend with star goaltender Kirby Halcrow away at the World Junior A Challenge. Tune in to Mountain FM at 1:45pm for the broadcast. The Smoke Eaters will be back at home on Friday and Saturday for back to back games against Salmon Arm.
ON THE TRAIL: Trail played the game with a short bench as Ben Matthews and Wade Bennett were out with the flu. They joined injured Smokies Justin Brown, Matt Wilkins and Graeme Strukoff on the sidelines tonight. Travis St. Denis also missed the game due to a suspension. He had the second fight after the whistle in Friday's game against Williams Lake ... Scott Jacklin and Sam Mellor were held off the score sheet for the first time in five games ... The win evens the season series after Prince George beat Trail 4-3 in double overtime at the Cominco Arena earlier this month ... The Smokies finished October with a 4-9-0-1 record. They went 2-1-0-1 at home and 2-8-0-0 on the road. It was a significant improvement on the 1-6-1-0 record in September ... Trail had a lead in 11 of their 13 games in October. They only had leads in 2 of 8 games the month before ... The game was the second time Smokies forward Josh McEwan got to play against his cousin Clayton McEwan. Josh also has a brother Joey who plays for Merritt. Josh has shown his gritty side by averaging 5 penalty minutes a game in his 10 games as a Smoke Eater.
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