The Cranbrook Bucks are now officially members of the BC Hockey League, making their debut on Saturday against the Penticton Vees and winning their first game in franchise history on Sunday over the Trail Smoke Eaters. The three teams make up one of five pods around the BCHL.
Opening their season on Saturday against the Vees, the Bucks lost 6-3. Although the Bucks opened the scoring, with Cam Reid netting the first regular season goal in team history, Penticton would take 2-1 lead into the third period, adding four more goals in the final frame to take the 6-3 win, including an empty netter.
Cranbrook was outshot 39-25 in their debut. Zeth Kindrachuk led the Bucks with 2 assists while Nathan Aiery stopped 33 of 38 between the pipes.
The Bucks rebounded the following night against the Trail Smoke Eaters, downing their new Kootenay rivals 5-3.
Cranbrook outshot Trail 29-24, converting once on the power play and adding an empty net goal for their first official win in the BCHL. Noah Quinn led the team with 2 points (1 goal, 1 assist). AJ Vasko, Nathan Fox, Cameron Kungle, and Drake Burgin also found the back of the net in the win. Jay Thomson turned aside 21 of 24 shots in the victory, including a huge cross-crease save with his paddle midway through the third period.
It just might be the greatest save in @CranbrookBucks franchise history, leading them to their first ever win
— BCHL (@BCHockeyLeague) April 5, 2021
With a couple of days off, the Cranbrook Bucks will lace up again on Wednesday against the Smoke Eaters. In the shortened 20-game season the Bucks will play the Vees and Smoke Eaters 10 times each. The regular season will close for the Bucks on May 9th.
Below is the post-game interview with AJ Vasko, who leads the team with 2 goals so far on the season:
AJ Vasko post-game interview following a 5-3 win over Trail. pic.twitter.com/TawBa3llJB
— Cranbrook Bucks (@CranbrookBucks) April 5, 2021