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Bucks take 3-1 win over Merritt

The Cranbrook Bucks are in the winners’ circle once again thanks to a 3-1 victory over the Merritt Centennials Saturday.

A bit of twin magic got the Bucks off to a good start in the first period. At 4:05, Julian Frias found his brother Donovan perched in the slot to tally the opening goal. The Bucks extended their lead to 2-0 thanks to a solo effort from Joseph Blackley at 11:40. Merritt managed to get one back off a giveaway deep in the Bucks zone, with Dylan Lariviere finishing off the play at 18:11 to cut Cranbrook’s lead to 2-1.

The second period belonged to the goalies. Cranbrook’s Braeden McIntosh and Merritt’s Andrew Ballantyne were both in fine form through the middle frame and both proved unbeatable. Merritt outshot the Bucks 13-12 in the second period, Cranbrook’s 2-1 lead held strong through intermission.

Both goalies continued their stellar play in the third period, particularly McIntosh who faced a barrage of shots as Merritt tried to tie the game and force overtime. However, the Bucks were content with ending the game in regulation, and a late empty net goal from Jack Silich gave his club some much-needed insurance to secure a 3-1 win – Cranbrook’s first win over Merritt this season.

Saturday’s win gives the Bucks an 18-23-2 record, Merritt outshot the Bucks 38-35. On special teams, Cranbrook went 0/3 and Merritt went 4/4.

The Bucks have a bit of a break before their next game, which goes February 18 in Vernon versus the Vipers.

Buck Tracks:

  • Braedyn McIntosh stops 37 of 38 shots.
  • 4 game point streak for Jacob Fletcher – (3g,3a).
  • Former Buck Luke Pfoh’s first return to Cranbrook as a member of the Centennials.

– Article includes photo from Trevor Crawley