The Cranbrook Bucks got themselves above the .500 mark for the first this season, with a victory over the Nanaimo Clippers this weekend.
The Bucks faced the Clippers for the first time in franchise history, Saturday, Oct. 30, at Western Financial Place in Cranbrook, and came out on top 4-1. The win leaves the Bucks at 4-3-0 so far this season, good enough for sixth place in the Interior Conference of the BCHL.
The game featured a goaltenders dual between Cooper Black of the Clippers and Nathan Airey of the Bucks, resulting in a scoreless first 40 minutes of play. Cranbrook had 22 shots on goal over the first two periods, Nanaimo had 21, and both teams had plenty of power play opportunities as well.
The Bucks finally opened the scoring two minutes into the third period, with Andrew King getting his second goal of the season off an odd-man rush (assists from Johnny Johnson and Cam Reid). Only 15 seconds later, Brendan Rogers made it 2-0 (Kellan Hjartarson and Liam Hansson assisting). And Cam Reid got his first goal of the season at the 12 minute mark (Andrew King and Cole Assailly assisting).
Jérémie Payant got the Clippers got on the board with two minutes left in the game — so no shutdown for Nathan Airey yet. Cole Assailly’s empty-netter sealed the deal for the Bucks.
Airey ended up stopping 35 shots for Cranbrook, Cooper 32 for Nanaimo.
The Merrit Centennials are in town this week, taking on the Bucks at Western Financial Place on Wednesday, November 3.
Announced attendence Saturday was 2,350.
With files from cranbrookbucks.ca