Wenatchee, WA. – The Trail Smoke Eaters scored 3 times in the first 2:49 of the contest, then went on to defeat the Wenatchee Wild 4-2 Friday night, in front of 3,454 at the Town Toyota Center.
The Smoke Eaters opened the scoring at 1:03 on a goal by Connor Brown-Maloski, assisted by Nick Halloran, putting the visitors up 1-0. Then, 31 seconds later, Ryan Swanson chased Wild netminder Chase Perry (Andover, MN) with a goal, assisted by Brown-Maloski and Ross Armour, putting Trail up 2-0. Then, at 2:49, Kale Howarth scored from Spencer McLean, increasing the Smokies’ lead to 3-0.
In the second, Trail added a goal by Kienan Scott, off an assist by Max Newton at 11:46, giving the Smoke Eaters a 4-0 lead after two.
Wenatchee would make a game of it in the third. Dakota Raabe (Dana Point, CA) scored from Mike Coyne (Buffalo, NY) and Kyle Stephan (Barrie, ON) at 8:16, then Logan Milliken (Canmore, AB) scored from Stephan and Coyne at 15:45, but the Wild could get no closer, as Trail held on for the 4-2 win.
The Wild outshot the Smokies 32-25 on the night. Perry and Garrett Nieto (Yorba Linda, CA) combined to make 21 stops for Wenatchee, while Bailey MacBurnie had 30 saves for Trail. The Wild went 0-for-2 on the power play and 1-of-1 on the penalty kill. “Not a great effort on our part.” said Wenatchee Wild Head Coach/General Manager Bliss Littler. “Trail did everything better than we did. They out-coached us, they played better in goal than us, they defended better, they played offence better. One of those nights that it was a good old fashioned butt-whooping. Hopefully we learned from it and need to get ready to play three hockey games next week. There’s between now and next Thursday, there’s going to be a lot of hard work involved.”
With the win, the Smoke Eaters improve to 11-15-0-0 on the season, Wenatchee falls to 16-8-2-2. The Wild concludes their 4-game home stand next Thursday and Friday, December 3rd and 4th against the Surrey Eagles at the Town Toyota Center. Faceoff is set for 7:05pm PST both nights.
Battle For The Border