The Trail Smoke Eaters battled back from a three-goal deficit to beat the Merritt Centennials on Saturday and earn their first road victory of the season.
Adam Parsons scored the game winner at the 10:44 mark of the second period to cap off a five-point weekend for the Port Moody product. Smokies forward Mathieu Cobetto-Roy wired a shot off the crossbar, and Parsons jumped on the rebound and slid it in to give Trail a 5-3 lead.
Trail was up against former Smoke Eaters Jackson Krill, Walker Erickson, and Christian Lowe and Cents coach and GM Curtis Toneff, who played defence for the orange and black in 2013-14.
Trail fell in their opening match 7-1 to the Penticton Vees Friday, and in the first 11 minutes looked like they were on a similar course when the Centennials built a 3-0 lead. Smokies coach Tim Fragle sent out a wake up call when he pulled veteran starter Cole Tisdale for rookie goalie Teagan Kendrick at the 9:01 mark.
Assistant captain Jordan Hendry responded, scoring a power play goal at 8:14 of the first to cut the lead to 3-1. Hendry wired a shot glove side on the Merritt goalie on a set up from Cobetto-Roy and Parsons.
Brody Juck cut the lead to one on a slapshot from the left point at 7:27, and less than two minutes later, Nic Remissong tallied his first of the campaign on a wrap around goal on Cents goalie Merik Erickson to tie it.
Remissong scored his second of the night on the power play, redirecting a shot passed Erickson for a 4-3 lead. After Parsons put the Smokies up 5-3, Merritt added one more before the period was out to cut the lead to one heading to the third.
Parson made it 6-3 just 18 seconds in, and Cobetto-Roy added an empty netter for the 7-4 final.
Merritt outshot Trail 30-28, but the Smoke Eaters went 3-for-4 on the power play, while Merritt was 0-for-3.
The Smoke Eaters were in tough against the Fred Page Cup champion Vees in their opening game Friday.
Vees forward Brett Moravec scored twice and added an assist, while Josh Neidermeyer pitched in with three helpers in a 7-1 victory over Trail to open the 2022-23 BCHL campaign. Parsons scored the lone Trail goal.
Trail will open its home season on Friday, Sept. 30 when they host the Cranbrook Bucks at the Trail Memorial Centre at 7 p.m.
The Bucks had a similar result in their opening weekend on the road, defeating Merritt 5-2 on Friday before falling to the Vees on Saturday, 7-1.
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