It was a short, sharp road trip the Cranbrook Bucks undertook this weekend past, and they returned home with a loss and a win for their travels.
The win, however, on Saturday, Nov. 6, was against the first place team in the Coastal Conference — the Langley Rivermen, in a shoot-out victory. The loss came Friday against West Kelowna Warriors — the Bucks’ third meeting this season with their Okanagan rivals.
Friday’s contest was a back and forth struggle, with teams trading goals and the lead. Goals from Cam Kungle, Luke Pfoh and Brendan Rodgers (with three second left in the 2nd period), brought the two teams into the third period tied at 3-3. But the Warriors got three unanswered goals in the third (including an empty-netter at 17:40), despite strong pressure from the Bucks (who ended up outshooting the Warriors 37-27), and Cranbrook’s winning streak came to an end at three games.
Nathan Airey made 21 saves in goal for the Bucks.
The goals by Kungle and Rodgers were their first of the season, in the Bucks’ first ever visit to West Kelowna. The Warriors lead the season series with the Bucks 2-1.
It was then off to the Fraser Valley for the Bucks’ first ever meeting with the Coastal Conference leading Langley Rivermen (7-1-1-1).
The Bucks continued their tendency to outshoot their opponents in the first period, with a 9-8 advantage over Langley, but the Rivermen got on the board first, scoring at the five-minute mark of the second frame. Tyson Dyck tied things up with a power play goal, but Langley restored their lead just 38 seconds later.
AJ Vasko got his first goal of the season for Cranbrook in the third. Riley Wallack restored the lead for Langley, but Tyson Dyck would not be denied, getting his second of the night (and third point of the night), and so into overtime the teams went — the first overtime session for the Bucks this season.
Despite the flurry of three-on-three action in overtime, the game went to shoot-out. Liam Hansson’s shoot-out goal for the Bucks and some heroics in net courtesy of Evan Garnter gave the Bucks the 4-3 shootout win. And their first road win of the season.
The Bucks outshot the Rivermen 37-30. They are now 3-1 against Coastal Conference teams.
Tyson Dyck now leads the Bucks in scoring, and is 11th in scoring in the BCHL.
The Bucks next action is back home at Western Financial Place, Friday, Nov. 12 against the Alberni Valley Bulldogs. They then immediately hit the road for Salmon Arm, to take on the Silverbacks, Saturday, Nov. 13 at the Shaw Centre.
With files from cranbrookbucks.ca