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Game Recap: Bucks Win Exhibition Game 7-3 in Trail

A rivalry reignited.

The Trail Smoke Eaters and Cranbrook Bucks met for their first of two preseason matchups Friday night in Trail. The Bucks were able to snag a convincing win in the first exhibition edition of the Battle of the Kootenay Pass.

The two teams began the first period with plenty of jump in their collective step. The Cranbrook Bucks opened the scoring just past the two-minute mark, the newest member of the herd, Ethan Sundar, was able to sneak a wrist shot over Smokie goalie Cole Tisdale to lift the Bucks to a 1-0 lead. Trail was quick to get the tie via Quinn Disher’s 5th preseason goal at the 3:42 barrier. Cranbrook needed just twelve seconds to restore their lead at 2-1 when Kellan Hjartarson found a loose puck in front of the Trail goal. There was plenty of action on both sides of the rink through the rest of the first period, but neither team was able to add another goal before the intermission. Cranbrook held a 2-1 lead heading into the second period, they outshot Trail 9-8 through twenty minutes.

Trail’s intermission adjustments appeared to pay off, they were able to control the pace of play for most of the first half of the middle frame. The Smokies scored at 3:02 with a well-placed shot from Ethan Willoughby to tie the game 2-2. Cranbrook goalie Carter Capton was able to hold the fort in the Bucks’ crease the rest of the way through the second period, turning aside 10 of 11 Smoke Eater shots. The Bucks were able to regain their lead when Noah Quinn finished a nice passing play from Bauer Morrissey with two minutes left on the clock. Cranbrook took a 3-2 lead into the third period.

The Smokies wasted little time to tie the game, a quick goal from Nicholas Remissong deadlocked the teams at 3-3 fourteen seconds into the third period. However, Cranbrook shook it off and put the game away with four unanswered goals. The Bucks got tallies from Matthew Duarte, Cooper Boulanger, Julian Frias and Ethan Sundar to take a 7-3 win in the first half of their home-and-home versus the Smoke Eaters.

Cranbrook was able to win the shots battle at 31-28. Trail failed to convert on any of their four power play chances, the Bucks went 1/5 with the man-advantage. The Kootenay rivalry enters round two Saturday night in Cranbrook.

Buck Tracks:

  • 2 goals for Ethan Sundar in Bucks debut.
  • Bucks have scored 5 goals or more in all 2022 preseason games.
  • 3 point night for Noah Quinn (1g,2a).