Zeth Kindrachuk is pictured in action against the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Penticton pod, Saturday, April 10. Jack Murray photo

Zeth Kindrachuk is pictured in action against the Trail Smoke Eaters in the Penticton pod, Saturday, April 10. Jack Murray photo

Bucks drop two to pod rivals

Cranbrook getting to know Penticton Vees, Trail Smoke Eaters, very well indeed.

The Cranbrook Bucks sustained two losses over the weekend in the Penticton pod of the BCHL.

On Friday, the Bucks went down 5-3 to the Penticton Vees, who have been strong in their hometown pod. On Saturday, the Trail Smoke Eaters got their second straight win over the Cranbrook squad, 4-2.

The Bucks were set to take on Penticton again Monday night.

On Friday, Nathan Airey made 38 saves in goal for the Bucks, while Christian Lowe, Noah Liebl, and Zeth Kindrachuk supplied the scoring.

Strong play from the Bucks was not enough on Saturday against Trail. Cranbrook got 35 shots on goal, but only Tyson Dick and Rhys Betham got past Trail goalie Logan Terness.

The Bucks are now 1-4-0-0 on the truncated regular season, not including Monday’s result (not available by press time).

However, short as the season may be — only 20 games, due to the pandemic restrictions, it’s still good to have hit the ice, finally, for the first BCHL regular season in Cranbrook’s history.

Head coach Ryan Donald earlier spoke to the Townsman about how the return to the ice is some history for the whole community.

“It’s been a long time coming,” Donald said. “It’s one thing, for the group of 20 guys on the ice, but goes into all aspects of the community — the billet community, the tutors that have been around for the winter, that have helped support these guys through such a challenging year … to finally get on the ice is pretty special.”

Donald added that for the players who are reaching the end of their junior career, this season and every game is an opportunity to showcase their abilities, and hopefully have an opportunity to play in the future.

The Bucks are going to get to know the Penticton Vees and the Trail Smoker Eaters very well. In a normal season, of course, the Bucks would have faced all 17 other teams in the BCHL. That will have to wait to next season.

“At the same time,” Donald said, “if you had told us at the beginning of January we would play 40 games in 40 days against the same team we would have taken it, just to get the chance to get back on the ice and play against somebody in a different sweater. We’re happy to play against anybody at this point. Beggars can’t be choosers.”

All three of the teams are different in the Penticton pod, in the way that they want to play, Donald said. “Age, background, experience all goes into the mix. But every night we have a chance to compete. We want to set our standards high and we want to be winning hockey games, and growing and developing our players as well.”

Despite the record so far, the Bucks still head into every game looking for victories.

“Every time we lace our skates up and get on the ice we expect to be winning, and that’s our goal — where we set our bar and measure ourselves for success,” Donald said.

The five-week season commenced on April 2 and will run until Sunday, May 9. Sixteen teams participating in the season, and have each been assigned one of five pod locations — Vernon, Penticton, Chilliwack, Coquitlam and Port Alberni — where they will play the other members of that pod for the duration of the year.

And for the second year in a row — and the second time since 1962 — there will be no champion declared at season’s end, and the Fred Page Cup will not be awarded.

“As of right now, there is no plan for a playoff or to declare a champion,” said Jesse Adamson, with the BCHL. “Our agreement with the PHO and the regional health authorities allows us to only play the five-week segment of our regular season that we have currently scheduled.

“That being said, if COVID numbers improve between now and the end of the season and the health authorities allowed it, we would explore some sort of playoff, but nothing is in place at the moment.”

In other BCHL news

Just Posted

It happened this week in 1914

May 9 - 15: Compiled by Dave Humphrey from the archived newspapers… Continue reading

Doses of the Pfizer coronavirus vaccine are seen being prepared on Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Decatur, Ga. Hundreds of children, ages 12 to 15, received the Pfizer vaccine at the DeKalb Pediatric Center, just days after it was approved for use within their age group. (AP Photo/Ron Harris)
One death, 60 new cases of COVID-19 in Interior Health

The death is connected to the outbreak at Spring Valley long-term care in Kelowna

The Salmon Arm RCMP seize hundreds of grams of drugs in a raid in Sorrento on March 20, 2021. (Black Press file photo)
RCMP have suspect identified in rash of local thefts

Police have a suspect in a rash of recent thefts from local… Continue reading

Rotary Way is being repaved from 4th Street South to the second bridge, just past St. Mary’s School. (Barry Coulter photo)
Rotary Way being repaved along Joseph Creek

The Rotary Club is having a portion of its namesake trail repaved.… Continue reading

The Libby Dam on the Kootenai River in Montana. The dam created the Koocanusa Reservoir, which straddles the B.C./Montana border. (photo courtesy Wikipedia)
Outflow at Libby Dam to be increased

Volume increase to aid migration and spawning conditions for endangered white sturgeon in the Kootenai River

Prince Rupert was one of the first B.C. communities targeted for mass vaccination after a steep rise in infections. Grey area marks community-wide vaccine distribution. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. tracks big drop in COVID-19 infections after vaccination

Prince Rupert, Indigenous communities show improvement

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking on a remote forest road in Naramata on May 10. (Submitted)
Kamloops brothers identified as pair found dead near Penticton

The bodies of Carlo and Erick Fryer were discovered by a local couple walking

Municipal governments around B.C. have emergency authority to conduct meetings online, use mail voting and spend reserve funds on operation expenses. (Penticton Western News)
Online council meetings, mail-in voting option to be extended in B.C.

Proposed law makes municipal COVID-19 exceptions permanent

A nurse prepares a dose of the COVID-19 vaccine in Kelowna on Tuesday, March 16. (Phil McLachlan/Black Press)
British Columbians aged 20+ can book for vaccine Saturday, those 18+ on Sunday

‘We are also actively working to to incorporate the ages 12 to 17 into our immunization program’

The AstraZeneca-Oxford University vaccine. (AP/Eranga Jayawardena)
2nd person in B.C. diagnosed with rare blood clotting after AstraZeneca vaccine

The man, in his 40s, is currently receiving care at a hospital in the Fraser Health region

Brian Peach rescues ducklings from a storm drain in Smithers May 12. (Lauren L’Orsa video screen shot)
VIDEO: Smithers neighbours rescue ducklings from storm drain

Momma and babies made it safely back to the creek that runs behind Turner Way

Signage for ICBC, the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia, is shown in Victoria, B.C., on February 6, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
$150 refunds issued to eligible customers following ICBC’s switch to ‘enhanced care’

Savings amassed from the insurance policy change will lead to one-time rebates for close to 4 million customers

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good
Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Most Read