By Andrew Chernoff CanucksBanter
The Trail Smoke Eaters were looking to get the monkey off their back and get their first win of the season in Merritt on the back end of a two game road trip to start their new season.
Besides a win, Trail was looking for their first lead of the season and their first power play goal, which escaped them in a 7-1 loss to Penticton the night before.
Trail accomplished both but it wasn’t pretty. The Smokies were led offensively by Adam Parsons (2-2=4) and Nicholas Remissong (2-0=2) with 2 goals each; Mathieu Cobetto-Roy (1-1=2); Jordan Hendry (1-0=1); Juck Brody (1-0=1); Adam Marshall (0-2=2); Brady Hunter (0-2=2); Judah Makway (0-1=1); Alec Whipple (0-1=1).
Merritt outshot Trail 30-28. Trail 3 for 4 on the power play and 3 for 3 on the penalty kill.
Trail goalie Teagan Kendrick stopped 22 of 23 shots in relief while Smokie starter Cole Tisdale was 4 for 7.
The Smokies continued to struggle though falling behind 1-0 just over two minutes into the opening period before they settled down and tried to play their game and find the equalizing goal to tie the game.
Instead Merritt scored two quick goals in the last two minutes of the first half of the period to take a 3-0 advantage resulting in Trail goalie Cole Tisdale being replaced by Teagan Kendrick after 3 goals on 7 shots.
The Smoke Eaters played with desperation after that and began to take the game to Merritt, drawing a penalty and scoring their first power play goal of the season by Jordan Hendry to pull within two goals at 3-1.
Juck Brody, 47 seconds later would bring Trail within one goal of tieing up the game at 3-2.
Less than three minutes later Nicholas Remissong would erase the three goal deficit knotting the game at 3-3 for Trail going into the first period intermission.
Trail would continue to play well early on in the second period continuing to put pressure on the Centennials in their own end, moving the puck around in the offensive zone and getting scoring chances, with Smokie goalie Teagan Kendrick not too busy.
Remissong and Adam Parsons would make it five unanswered goals for Trail and a 5-3 lead before the Centennials would finally answer in the final minute of the middle period, to get Merritt within one goal at 5-4.
Smokies Jordan Hendry would leave the game in the second period after being brought down behind the Merritt net racing for the puck, and would not return to the game.
Shots were 24-21 after two periods for Merritt. Trail 3 for 4 on the power play and 3 for3 on the penalty kill.
The Smokies continued to feel it at the start of the final period as Trail took a two goal lead at 6-4, on an unassisted goal by Adam Parsons, his second of the game, 18 seconds into the 3rd.
Trail played well defensively in the final frame while continuing to get scoring chances and offensive time in the Merritt end to extend their lead, keeping the Centennials at bay.
With less than two minutes left Merritt pulled their starting goalie to pull within a goal but Trail would score into an empty net to seal their first victory of the young season, at 7-4. Mathieu Cobetto-Roy with the empty-netter.
September 24, 2022