Trail, BC: The Penticton Vees scored twice in 22 seconds in the third period to tie the game at three 6:11 into the third period, but the Smoke Eaters scored three times in the final six minutes to take game four 6-3, and even the Interior Division semifinals at two.
While already down a man, Owen Sillinger was given an interference penalty for an altercation at the Vees bench, and was ejected from the game. The Smoke Eaters had a 15 second five on three power play, but couldn’t convert.
Just like game three, the Vees opened the scoring on a breakaway. While shorthanded, Wyatt Sloboshan poked the puck away from Jeremy Lucchini down the ice. Adam Marcoux thought about coming out of his crease to negate the breakaway, but then retreated to his net.
Sloboshan came in uncontested and beat Marcoux over the blocker to give the Vees the lead. It didn’t last long as just 46 seconds later, Andre Ghantous took a centring feed in the slot and beat Adam Scheel blocker side to send the game into the intermission tied at one.
The Vees came out with jump in the second, but it was Trail getting the next goal. Off a turnover behind the net, the puck popped out in front and Carter Jones fired it past Scheel’s blocker to give Trail a 2-1 lead.
Penticton continued to pressure looking for the tying goal, with Taylor Ward having the best chance on a clear cut breakaway but Marcoux made a windmill glove save to keep Trail ahead.
With under two minutes to play in the second, Trail went back to the man advantage and Kale Howarth ripped a one timer from the right circle through Scheel to give Trail a 3-1 lead heading into the third.
Down by two, the Vees had their work cut out for them in the third, but came out flying looking for offence. Jonny Tychonick cut the Trail lead to one with a slap shot from the right circle that beat Marcoux blocker side 5:49 into the period.
Off the ensuing faceoff, the Vees sent the puck into the Trail zone and recovered it. Tychonick had it at the line, walked the point and fired a wrist shot that Lukas Sillinger was able to deflect past Marcoux to tie the game.
The teams traded chances after the game was tied, including Cole Shepard setting up Chris Klack on a two-on-one. Off a face-off in the Penticton zone, the Smoke Eaters would regain their lead.
Seth Barton held the puck in on a clear and his wrist shot from the right point eluded all traffic in front, beating Scheel glove side to make it 4-3 with 5:55 to play.
The Vees pressed, but Tyler Ghirardosi scored a highlight-reel goal with just over two minutes to play before Ross Armour hit the empty net to seal the Trail win.
Game five now goes at the South Okanagan Events Centre Friday at 7:00.