The Trail Smoke Eaters final two games of a home-and-home with West Kelowna Warriors went to overtime with both teams earning the extra point in their own arena.
Trail forward Carter Jones scored 17 seconds into overtime on Saturday at the Cominco Arena to get the 5-4 win for the Smoke Eaters after falling 4-3 to the Warriors on Friday night in Kelowna.
Jones brought a crowd of over 2,600 fans to their feet when he took a pass from Trevor Zins in the slot and wired a wrist shot over the glove of Warriors goalie Brock Baier for the Smoke Eaters 23rd win of the season, and the Warriors first overtime loss.
The loss the previous night sealed the Smoke Eaters position in seventh place of the Interior Division and a date with the Merritt Centennials in the first round of the BCHL playoffs.
Max Kryski and Owen Ozar put the Smokies up 2-0 in the first period, but West K responded midway through the second period on a goal from Mike Hardman who jumped on a turnover in the neutral zone, walked in and sniped a shot past the blocker of Donovan Buskey.
Hayden Rowan restored the Smokies two-goal lead on the power play, off a slick pass from Kent Johnson. The 16-year-old rookie-of-the year finalist circled behind the net and sent a no-look back pass to Rowan at the left post for a 3-1 lead at 12:08.
The Warriors cut the lead to 3-2 when Bennett Norlin banged in a centering pass from Garrett Worth, but Smokies veteran Spencer McLean replied taking a pass from Chase Stevenson and beating Baier glove side to put Trail up 4-2 heading into the final frame.
West Kelowna rallied in the third with Chase Dubois scoring at 10:34 when he came out from behind the Trail goal and fired a shot over the glove of Buskey to make it 4-3.
The Warriors Max Bulawka tied it with 1:47 to play, scoring on an Anthony Bishop set up to force the extra frame.
Trail outshot the Warriors 43-38, were 2-for-3 on the power play and 2-for-2 on the penalty kill. The Smokies Rowan earned the game’s first star, with Jones second star, and Bulawka third star.
On Friday, Lucas scored a power play goal 90 seconds into the overtime period to give the Warriors a 4-3 victory. It was Cullen’s second of the game and 26th goal of the season and locked up sixth place in the Interior for West K.
Hardman and Cullen gave the Warriors a 2-0 lead before Jones and Mack Byers replied in the second period to tie it. The teams traded goals in the third with Garrett Worth putting West K up 3-2 before Trail captain Braeden Tuck tied it to force OT.
West Kelowna outshot Trail 43-39, and were 2-for-5 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the PK.
Trail will play the Merritt Centennials in the first round but game times have yet to be determined.