Sunday, September 12, 2010

Game 2: Trail 6 Merritt 4

TRAIL, BC - The top line struck again for the Smokies in a 6-4 victory against the Merritt Centennials. Each of Scott Jacklin, Sam Mellor and Travis St. Denis scored and the line combined for 6 points. The three players are now tied for the BCHL scoring lead after the first weekend of the season.

Trail was also lifted by the first multi-point effort of Cullen Bradshaw's BCHL career. The 20 year old former leading scorer of the AJHL's Brooks Bandits put up 2 goals and an assist in his second game with the Smokies.

This victory over Merritt wasn't nearly as convincing as the first. It was apparent early the Centennials were a different club on the night as they got out to an early shot advantage and wouldn't go away all game.

Trail got the only goal of the first when the top line connected on Sam Mellor's second of the season. Merritt actually out shot Trail in the period 11-8, but the Smokies were able to kill off a 5 on 3 to keep the Cents off the board.

The teams traded goals in the second period with Bradshaw and St. Denis striking for Trail while Jeff Jones and Dustin Johnson answered for Merritt. It was a much more inspired effort from Merritt's top gunners in this game as they were united on a line rather than playing on separate units.

Trail appeared to put the game away in the third as Jacklin and Paul Mailey scored 1:39 seconds apart to extend Trail's lead to 5-2. However, the Cents wouldn't go quietly into the night as Johnson took advantage of a 5-3 to cut into the lead and Regan Soquilla scored a late short handed marker to get the hearts at the Cominco Arena racing a little faster.

The Smokies held on in the end as Bradshaw chipped his second of the game into the empty net to wrap up the victory.

Kiefer Smiley made 22 saves to pick up his second win of the season for Trail while Tyler Steel stopped 24 pucks in his first career BCHL start.

It wasn't as pretty as Friday, but the Smokies finished the weekend with 4 big points and 14 goals over 2 games. Their next action will be a home and home with Westside starting at the Cominco Arena on Friday.

ON THE TRAIL: The top line is a big part of the story early but 5 other Smokies also finished the weekend with at least a point per game ... Trail better enjoy home ice while they can because after Friday's game against Westside they play six straight games on the road ... Smokies fans can again catch their road games on Mountain FM this season at 104.1 FM in Trail. The games will be brought to you this year by the Arlington.

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