The Cranbrook Bucks split their two-game road trip to the Okanagan with a win in Vernon and a loss in Salmon Arm.
On Saturday night, Nov. 26, in Salmon Arm, the Herd ran headlong into a hot goaltender. Matthew Tovell made 37 saves to earn a shut-out, while the Silverbacks’ lone goal — from Nathan Mackie, scored just one minute into the game — stood up as the eventual game winner.
The Bucks pressed hard all game long, outshooting Salmon Arm 37-30, but no shots found the back of the net. Nathan Airey, in net for the Bucks, was no slouch, stopping 29 of 30 shots.
Meanwhile, in Vernon the night before, it was a different story. With Carter Capton in goal for Cranbrook, it was a back-and-forth game all night, with both teams getting plenty of chances.
The first period ended 2-1 Vipers, with Kellan Hjartarson’s unassisted goal keeping things close. Anson McMaster and Reagan Milburn scored for Vernon.
The Bucks exploded for four unanswered goals in the second frame, with markers from Hjartarson (his second of the night), Noah Quinn, Nick Peluso and Cameron Kungle.
But the Vipers, snake-like, struck back in the third, scoring three unanswered goals of their own, from Isaac Tremblay, Luke Pakulak, and Seiya Tanaka-Campbell.
And so regulation time ended, 5-5.
The two overtime periods settled nothing, and so to the shoot-out.
The Bucks selected Jack Silich, Jarrod Smith and Nick Peluso for the one-on-one, and Silich and Peluso made good against goalie Ethan David. While the Vipers’ Dylan Compton got one past Capton, the Bucks’ goalie was able to stop Julian Facchinelli and Reagan Milburn, and the Bucks were able to skate out of Vernon with an official 6-5 win.
The weekend’s games put the Cranbrook Bucks record to 12-8-1, still in fifth place in the Interior Conference of the BCHL — one point behind the Silverbacks in the standings and four points ahead of the Vipers.
The Bucks are back home on Wednesday, November 30, to host the Wenatchee Wild.