The Trail Smoke Eaters rallied but their comeback fell short on Wednesday night in a 3-2 loss to the Wenatchee Wild at Trail Memorial Centre.
The Smoke Eaters got off to another slow start, falling behind 1-0 in the first period on a goal from Wild forward Parker Murray, who banged in a rebound past Smoke Eaters goalie Teagan Kendrick 5:55 into the game.
Trail tied it before the period was out, when Adam Marshall sent Fechko down the right wing at full speed, and the Smokies forward wired a shot stickside on Wild goalie Andy Vlaha.
The Smoke Eaters had several golden opportunities to score in the second, particularly in the early going when they played six-minutes on the power play but could not beat Vlaha.
Wild forward Gabe Dombrowski snapped a shot over Kendricks glove with 6:46 remaining in the middle frame. Ean Somoza tallied the game winning goal just two minutes later, giving Wenatchee a 3-1 lead heading to the final frame, despite Trail outshooting the Wild 20-9 in the period.
Trail continued to press in the third, and Brady Hunter finally got rewarded for his efforts, lifting in a rebound off the back board to make it 3-2 with four minutes remaining in regulation. It was Hunter’s fourth goal and 15th point in 21 games and his first goal in eight games.
The Smoke Eaters outshot Wenatchee 42-33, and were 0-for-4 on the power play, and 2-for-3 on the penalty kill.
The Wild’s Vlaha and Somoza earned first and second star, while Fechko was named third star for Trail.
The 8-11-1-1 Smoke Eaters managed three points on their five-game home stand, losing three of the games by just one goal, including a 2-1 shootout loss to the undefeated 21-0 Penticton Vees.
The Smoke Eaters travel to Wenatchee for two games this weekend with the puck drop at 7:05 p.m. on Friday and 6:05 p.m. on Saturday.
Smoke Eaters fans can watch the game on hockeyTV.com.