Zack Feaver scored twice including the game winner to lift the Trail Smoke Eaters to a 3-1 victory over the Cranbrook Bucks on Saturday at the Trail Memorial Centre.
The line of Feaver, Jaden Senkoe and Connor Michaud accounted for all the Smoke Eaters scoring including the game winner on a power play goal with 1:28 to play in the middle frame. Senkoe sent Michaud and Feaver in on a 2-on-1, and a slick back pass from Michaud and a one-time by Feaver put the Smoke Eaters up 2-1.
The win gives Trail a split in its first two games of the Kootenay Cup best-of-seven series following a 3-0 loss to the Bucks on Friday night.
Sweeney opened the scoring, when he burst down the left wall, sped past the Bucks defenceman and around the net for a wraparound attempt that went right to Michaud at the left post for a 1-0 lead at 15:40 of the first period.
The Bucks, however, replied at 15:27 of the second period when Nathan Fox banged a shorthanded goal by Smoke Eaters starter Cayden Hamming to tie it at one.
After, Feaver made it 2-1, the Bucks had a glorious scoring opportunity a minute into the final frame, when former Beaver Valley Nitehawk Michael Hagen broke in on a 2-on-0 with Christian Lowe but Hamming made a sprawling pad save to keep the one goal lead.
Feaver finished off the night with an empty net goal and first-star honour in the 3-1 final.
Hamming was named second star, stopping 25 shots on the night, and Michaud earned third star with a goal and an assist.
Trail outshot the Bucks 30-26 and went 1-for-4 on the power play and 5-for-5 on the PK.
In Friday’s match, Hagen scored the game winner banking in a centering pass at 4:23 of the first period for a 1-0 Bucks lead.
Trail fired 18 shots at the Cranbrook net in the first period alone, but goalie Jacob Zacharewicz stymied the Smoke Eaters attack.
Brendan Rogers added the second and third goals for the Bucks and Zacharewicz made 32 stops for Cranbrook’s first shutout in its brief history. Rogers earned second star for Cranbrook.
Trail goalie Logan Terness was named the third star and made 30 saves on the night.
Trail hosts Cranbrook in Game 3 of the Kootenay Cup on Saturday, Oct. 24 at the Trail Memorial Centre.