Adam Marcoux made 37 saves and Ross Armour scored twice to lead the Interior No. 4-seed Trail Smoke Eaters past the No. 1-seed Penticton Vees by a 4-2 score in Game 7 that puts Trail into the Interior Division finals.
Andre Ghantous opened the scoring for the Smoke Eaters near the midway point of the first and they went up by two later in the period, taking advantage of a too-many-men-on-the-ice call against the Vees and capitalizing on the power play with a goal by Braeden Tuck.
Armour made it a three-goal Smoke Eaters lead with a shorthanded goal at 5:52 of the second. Penticton got on the scoreboard on a goal from Wyatt Sloboshan near the middle of the second period but still trailed by two going to the third.
Just 1:10 into the third, Armour restored the two-goal Trail advantage on a play set up by Tuck and Kale Howarth. Penticton kept pushing to make up the difference and outshot Trail 15-6 in the third. They appeared to have life at the 12-minute mark when they got a goal from an unlikely source in defenceman Kenny Johnson who converted a cross-crease feed from fellow blueliner Luke Reid.
Johnson had just one goal all season and this was his first of the playoffs but it would be the last puck to get past Marcoux on the night. The goalie was named 3rd Star of the game.
Trail will now take on the Wenatchee Wild in Round 3 of the playoffs. Wenatchee, as the No. 3 seed in the Interior, will have home-ice advantage.