The Cranbrook Bucks and the Prince George Spruce Kings shake hands at centre ice following a 3-2 OT win for Prince George, ending the first round BCHL playoff series at 4-2. Trevor Crawley photo.

The Cranbrook Bucks and the Prince George Spruce Kings shake hands at centre ice following a 3-2 OT win for Prince George, ending the first round BCHL playoff series at 4-2. Trevor Crawley photo.

Bucks inaugural playoff run ends, Spruce Kings win series in overtime

The inaugural playoff run is over for the Cranbrook Bucks.

The BCHL’s newest expansion franchise fell in six games to the Prince George Spruce Kings, dropping an extremely tight 3-2 overtime loss on Saturday night at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook.

It was do or die time for the Bucks, which was facing a 3-2 series deficit after a 3-2 loss in Game 5 on last week in Prince George.

With an announced crowd of over 3,000 on Saturday, the Bucks were up 2-1 and just over three minutes away from taking the series to Game 7. However, Rowan Miller drew the Spruce Kings even, and added the game winner on a breakaway nearly ten minutes into a tense overtime period.

After a scoreless first period, Declan Ride put the Bucks ahead on the powerplay in the middle frame, but Evan Fedele answered back less than a minute later for the Spruce Kings. Tyson Dyck regained the Bucks lead with another powerplay marker in the latter half of the period.

Bucks goaltender Nathan Airey faced a barrage of shots, turning away 47 pucks, while Spruce Kings netminder Aaron Trotter made 18 saves before coming out due to a collision, with backup Jordan Fairlie saving 10 shots.

The Bucks special teams were clicking, as both goals came on the powerplay, while the PK units also killed off all three penalties, including a five-minute major after Zeth Kindrachuk was ejected from the game and tagged with charging while driving to the net on a partial breakaway.

Last Thursday, with the series tied at 2-2, the Bucks fell 3-2 in Prince George.

After a scoreless first period, Luc Laylin put the Spruce Kings ahead, however, Tyson Dyck and Kellan Hjartarson scored back-to-back powerplay markers to give the Bucks the lead after 40 minutes.

Battling late into the final period, Nick Rheaume scored a powerplay goal for the Spruce Kings to even up the game, and Simon Labelle notched the go-ahead goal.

Airey made 35 saves in goal for the Bucks, while Trotter turned aside 20 shots for the Spruce Kings.

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