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Game Recap: Bulldogs Triumph in First Meeting

A busy weekend for the Cranbrook Bucks didn’t start off on the proper hoof Friday night.

It was another tentative start for both clubs in the first ever meeting for the two franchises. The Bucks would find the net first just before the midway mark of the opening period, courtesy of a Noah Quinn blast from the high slot off a nice feed from Tyson Dyck. But goals from Alberni Valley’s Josh Van Unen at 11:07 and Nicholas Beneteau left the Bucks looking for answers as the Bulldogs took a 2-1 lead into the second period.

The second period saw Cranbrook outplay and outshoot Alberni Valley for the first fifteen minutes, but a quick flurry of offence late in the frame would turn the tide in the Bulldogs’ favor. The visitors found their way to a 3-1 lead at 17:56 when Beneteau fired a shot from the slot to beat Bucks goalie Nathan Airey for his second tally of the night, pushing their lead to 3-1. Just forty-six seconds later, the Bulldogs found a fortuitous turnover deep in the Bucks zone and Josh Van Unen was able to make good for his second goal of the night to give the ‘Dogs a 4-1 lead heading into the third period.

The Bucks failed to convert on the game’s only power play early in the third period, but Noah Quinn’s second goal of the night just at 9:30 sparked some hope into the Bucks bench and the 2,350 fans at Western Financial Place. But it would all be for naught, and Josh Van Unen scored his hattrick goal into an empty Bucks net late in the game to put the 5-2 win on ice.

The loss drops Cranbrook’s record to 6-5, they’ll have little time to lick their wounds as it’s back to the grind at Shuswap Lake Saturday and Sunday versus the 9-0-1 Salmon Arm Silverbacks. It will be the first meeting between the two Interior Conference combatants.

Buck Tracks

  • 2 points each for Tyson Dyck, Luke Pfoh and Noah Quinn.
  • Goaltender Nathan Airey was presented the team’s Player of the Month award for October before Friday’s game.
  • The Bucks did not give up a power play through Friday’s game, both Cranbrook penalties were coincidental minors.
  • Friday’s attendance = 2,350 (every regular season game in Cranbrook has drawn more than 2,000 fans).