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Game Recap: Bucks Drop Game 1 in PG

Photo Credit: James Doyle

The Cranbrook Bucks have arrived to the BCHL playoffs, but they received a rude welcoming from the 2019 Fred Page Cup champion Prince George Spruce Kings who were able to open their first round series with an impressive 4-1 victory Friday night.

The Prince George Spruce Kings held the edge through the first period. The Sprucies opened with a goal from Simon Labelle on an odd-man rush at 3:57. Prince George was able to follow with a power play marker at 9:18 after he fired a well-placed point shot through a crowd, beating Bucks goalie Nathan Airey. The Bucks were dealt another blow late in the opening frame when Noah Quinn was issued a game misconduct and five-minute major for goalie interference. Cranbrook was outshot 16-6 through the first period, and they trailed 2-0.

Cranbrook had more chances in the second period, but Spruce Kings goalie Aaron Trotter brought his A-game. Tyson Dyck was robbed on multiple attempts, and the Bucks failed to tally on three power play chances. The lone second period goal came from Ty Gagno on a Prince George power play to extend his team’s lead to 3-0 at 13:03. The Bucks had more questions than answers as the middle frame ended with the road team incurring a 3-0 deficit.

The Spruce Kings continued to smother the Bucks as they moved to a trap game for the third period with a strong lead intact. The score remained static until the 17:37 mark when Luc Laylin snuck a deke behind Nathan Airey to bump Prince George’s lead to 4-0. Cranbrook was able to break Trotter’s shutout bid with just 25 seconds left in the hockey game when he fired a slot shot off a Cranbrook faceoff win, but that was as close as the Bucks would get. Prince George took a 4-1 win in game one to vault to a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

Special teams were a big difference Friday night, Prince George’s power play finished 2/5 while Cranbrook’s finished 0/4. The Bucks were outshot 34-27.

Cranbrook will look for a better fate in game two Saturday night in Prince George.

Buck Tracks:

  • Zeth Kindrachuk scores first playoff goal in Cranbrook Bucks’ history.
  • Noah Quinn and Liam Hansson were both ejected from the game with five-minute major penalties and game misconducts.
  • The Cranbrook Bucks would like to thank all of our fans who came out to Friday’s playoff watch party at Western Financial Place.