The Cranbrook Bucks’ season-opening slog through the Okanagan continued this weekend past, with the Herd earning a split — a win in West Kelowna, and loss in Salmon Arm.
On Friday, Sept. 29, Oskar Cederquist score the eventual game winner at 3:42 of the third period, as the Bucks eked out a 2-1 win over the West Kelowna Warriors at Royal Lepage Place.
Noah Urness opened the scoring for the Bucks in the first. Brennan Nelson tied it up for the Warriors in the second, on the power play.
The game was a rough, penalty-filled affair, with 18 infractions called in the game — nine in the third period alone. The Bucks went to the box on nine of those occasions.
The Warriors outshot the Bucks 29-26, but Carter Capton was solid between the pipes. The Warrior’s netminder Roarke Applebee turned aside 24 shots in a losing effort for the Warriors.
After Friday’s fracas, the Bucks turned in a lower energy game the next night in Salmon Arm, falling to the Silverbacks 6-1 on Saturday, Sept. 30.
At the six-and-a-half-minute mark, Julian Frias for the Bucks was able to make it 1-1 after Salmon Arm’s Maddux Martin opened the scoring in the first, but Jacob Bonkowski’s power play play goal a minute and a half later gave the ‘Backs the lead again, and they never looked back. Riley Ashe’s 2nd period goal, and markers from Ryan Gillespie, Reid Varkonyi and Cole Cooksey in the third made it a 6-1 final score.
Darick Leroux was in net for the Bucks, stopping 27 of 33 shots. Eli Pulver made 26 saves on 27 shots for the Silverbacks.
The Bucks return to play their first regular season games at Western Financial Place on Oct. 6 and 7, facing the Merritt Centennials Friday and Saturday. Game time is 7 pm.