The West Kelowna Warriors couldn’t find their footing as they dropped Game #2 of their best-of-seven Interior Division Quarter Final series to the Trail Smoke Eaters by a 7-2 score at Cominco Arena on Saturday night.
The Smoke Eaters started the game with the momentum with an early power play and capitalizing on a goal from Braeden Tuck just 2:18 into the contest. Tuck carved his way through the Warriors defense and outwaited Warriors goaltender Nik Amundrud before sliding the puck past his glove side for a 1-0 Trail lead.
Just under five minutes later, at the 7:09 mark of the opening period, Spencer McLean doubled the Trail lead on a tic-tac-toe goal. Andre Ghantous started the rush on the left wing with a pass to the right-wing face-off circle before centering the puck to a streaking McLean who tapped it by the blocker side for the 2-0 Smoke Eaters advantage.
Trail extended their lead to three at the 14:43 mark of the 1st period as Levi Glasman tallied his second goal in as many nights. Kale Howarth started the play as he rushed into the Warriors zone from centre ice and attempted to wrap the puck around on the glove side of Amundrud before it spilled over the Glasman on the blocker side. After getting his initial shot stopped, Glasman deposited the puck behind the Warriors goaltender and put Trail up by a 3-0 score after the first period.
The 2nd period started on an undisciplined note for the Warriors, who were signaled for three penalties in the a four-minute span and Blaine Caton would make them pay with a 5-on-3 power play goal. Caton shot in a pass from Ross Armour in the slot at the 6:27 mark of the 2nd period and push Trail’s lead to 4-0.
It was the Smoke Eaters once again that hit the scoresheet and once again was Glasman who did so at the 13:37 mark of the middle stanza. Armour jarred the puck free in the right corner for Howarth behind the net who centered in front for Glasman as the Smoke Eaters forward scored his second goal of the night past the glove side of Amundrud and put Trail ahead by a 5-0 score.
Mack Byers added to the Smoke Eaters lead and pushed the score to 6-0 at the 6:06 mark of the 3rd period as he took a pass on the left wing from Braeden Tuck and snapped a shot past Amundrud on the blocker side for Trail’s sixth goal of the night.
Willie Reim broke Adam Marcoux’s shutout bid at the 9:07 mark of the final period as the Warriors converted on the power play. Matt Kowalski had his shot from the right point redirected toward the goal by Reim as the puck popped up and behind Marcoux for Reim’s first goal of the playoffs to get the Warriors on the board at a 6-1 Trail lead.
Another power play resulted in the fourth power play goal of the night for the Smoke Eaters as Ryan Murphy shot on the glove side of Amundrud at the top of the crease to give Trail a commanding 7-1 lead at the 9:49 mark of the 3rd frame.
Michael Lombardi closed out the scoring at the 18:39 mark of the 3rd period as he skated onto a puck down the left wing and shot past the blocker side of Marcoux for his first goal of the series and closed out a 7-2 win for the Smoke Eaters.
Nik Amundrud stopped 38 of the 44 shots he faced in the game in his second loss of the series while Adam Marcoux turned aside 23 of the 25 shots he faced in the game for his second win of the series.