Chilliwack Chiefs topple Trail

In BCHL action Friday night, the Chilliwack Chiefs beat the Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 to improve their standing in the Interior conference.



The Chilliwack Chiefs extended their current winning streak to five games Friday night, downing the Trail Smoke Eaters 4-1 at Prospera Centre.

The home team let the visitors stay close for 40 minutes but pulled away in the third, beating the Smokies for the third time in eight days.

Chilliwack improved to 17-9-0-1 on the season while Trail dipped to a league worst 5-20-1-3.

The Chiefs opened the scoring in this one, with Chilliwack native Josh Hansen pulling the trigger on his eighth of the year.

Trail netminder James D’Andrea failed to cover the puck in a goal-mouth scramble. Hansen pounced on the loose puck, punching it past the fallen keeper at 8:43.

The Smoke Eaters answered back six minutes later with a power play goal. With Trevor Hills watching from the penalty box (hooking), Tanner Clarkson fired a point shot through a screen. Chilliwack netminder Bryton Udy didn’t see it until it was in the net.

Clarkson collected his second goal in as many games since coming over in a trade with the Nanaimo Clippers.

Shots on goal through 20 minutes favoured Trail 12-10.

The Chiefs dominated territorially in period two, firing 18 pucks at D’Andrea. Among the many near misses, Malcolm Gould appeared to have put the puck into the Trail net during a goal-mouth scramble. But the puck came straight out and the referees didn’t blow play down.

At the other end, Udy had time to check his email, sip a latte and download a movie or two.

The Smoke Eaters managed just one shot on net.

Still, the visitors entered the third period with a chance, with the score still knotted at 1-1.

Trail’s hope diminished significantly in the first minute of period three. Just 28 seconds into the final frame, David Bondra wheeled at the top of the right faceoff circle and threaded a shot through a maze of legs and skates.

D’Andrea was helpless to stop Bondra’s 13th, giving Chilliwack a 2-1 lead.

The dagger came at 9:06 on another shot through traffic. David Thompson’s shot evaded D’Andrea and sent the goalie’s water bottle flying.

A rare BCHL fight late in the game pitted Chilliwack’s Ty Miller against Trail’s Clayton McEwan in a battle of the No. 3’s. Miller earned a clear decision, ripping McEwan’s helmet off and pummeling him with jabs until the linesman stepped in.

Gould added the exclamation point on the victory, scoring his 12th of the year on a pretty top-shelf backhand with 3:14 remaining.

The three stars were Bondra (first), D’Andrea (second) and Shay Laurent (Chilliwack, third).

Announced attendance was 1,800.

The Chiefs are on the road tomorrow night, visiting the Salmon Arm Silverbacks.

The next home game is Dec. 16 against the Prince George Spruce Kings with a start time of 7 p.m.

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