Photo Credit: Tim Matwey
Playoff hockey has returned to Cranbrook for the first time in seven years. The Cranbrook Bucks put on a fantastic show for their hometown herd on Monday night, earning a 3-0 win over the Prince George Spruce Kings in game three of their first round series.
Cranbrook needed a big start in game three, and they got one. Zeth Kindrachuk lit a spark in Western Financial Place with his goal at 1:12, sending the crowd into a frenzy and putting the Bucks up 1-0. The Bucks would add to their lead at 18:05 when AJ Vasko sniped a blast from the right wing circle to beat Arron Trotter on a Cranbrook power play. Cranbrook held a 2-0 lead through twenty minutes.
The Bucks kept their collective feet on the gas pedal through the second period. Spruce Kings goalie Aaron Trotter had a great period, turning aside 15 of 16 shots. Luke Pfoh scored the lone goal of the period, Cranbrook’s second power play goal of the game, at 2:26. Western Financial Place was as loud as it has ever been, with their Bucks leading 3-0 after two periods.
Cranbrook shifted to a more defensive game to preserve their lead through the third period. Neither team was able to score in the final frame, and Bucks goalie Nathan Airey turned aside another ten shots to secure his first career BCHL playoff shutout win. The Bucks were able to hang on for a 3-0 win, pulling back into their first round series.
Cranbrook outshot Prince George 43-27 in Monday’s win in game three. With Monday’s win, Prince George sees their series lead shrink to 2-1.
Game four is set for Tuesday night at Western Financial Place.
- Monday’s game was the first junior hockey playoff game at Western Financial Place in exactly 7 years (April 4, 2015) – or 2,557 days.
- Nathan Airey earns first career BCHL playoff victory and shutout.
- 2 points for AJ Vasko (1 goal, 1 assist).