Team Sites
Follow the BCHL

Game Recap: Bucks Best Kootenay Rivals

The Cranbrook Bucks gained ground on their Kootenay rivals with a big win in Trail Friday night in the first half of a pre-holiday home-and-home.

The Bucks finished their run of six consecutive road games with a 5-3 triumph over the Smoke Eaters, building momentum heading into Saturday’s Teddy Bear Toss in Cranbrook.

The Bucks held the edge in play with throughout the first period, firing 11 shots on Smokies goalie Evan Fradette. However, the home team found themselves well-positioned with a 1-0 lead after twenty minutes via a breakaway goal from Trail forward Teddy Lagerback at 14:53.

Cranbrook’s offense found their rhythm in the middle frame. The Bucks picked up four goals from Johnny Johnson, AJ Vasko and Kellan Hjartasrson netted a pair. Two of Cranbrook’s goals came on the power play after Smokie forward Coalson Wolford took a five-minute boarding major and a game misconduct at 4:26. Trail did manage to answer back with a short-handed goal from Brady Hunter, but found themselves down 4-2 to the Bucks after two periods.

The Bucks expanded their lead to 5-2 just eighteen seconds into the third period with Hayden Gelbard’s third goal of the season. Teddy Lagerback scored his second goal of the night at 6:26 to pull the Smoke Eaters back to within two of Cranbrook, but that’s as close as they would get. Cranbrook managed to hold on to earn a 5-3 win over the Smoke Eaters.

Friday’s win erases Cranbrook’s three-game losing streak versus Trail in their season series, and puts the Bucks on a two-game win streak overall. The Bucks vastly outshot Trail 47-19. It was also a good night for Cranbrook in terms of special teams, finishing 2/8 on the power play and their penalty kill unit ran the table at 2/2.

With the victory, the Bucks see their record improve to 12-10-1 while Trail falls to 12-9-1, Cranbrook remains sixth overall in the Interior Conference and the Smoke Eaters are in fifth place.

The BCHL’s two Kootenay representatives lock horns again in Cranbrook Saturday night. It will be the first ever Teddy Bear Toss in the Bucks’ young history, fans are encouraged to bring teddy bears, toques or mittens to throw on the ice after Cranbrook’s first goal of the hockey game.

Saturday’s game will also be the last for the Bucks until New Year’s Eve as the league will pause for its holiday break following this weekend’s slate of games.

Buck Tracks:

  • Bucks finish with a 3-3 record over their run of six straight road games.
  • 2 goals for Kellan Hjartarson (2nd multi goal game of the season).
  • 5 points in last 4 games for Hayden Gelbard.
  • Trail leads season series 3-2
  • Luke Pfoh returns to lineup (last played November 21 vs Penticton)