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Vees and Smoke Eaters extend Cranbrook Bucks losing streak

The Cranbrook Bucks dropped both of their weekend matchups in the BCHL, stretching their losing streak to seven games after 4-3 and 5-1 losses to the Smoke Eaters and Vees.

Opening up their weekend on Friday with a matchup against the Trail Smoke Eaters, the Bucks would quickly fall behind 3-nothing after the opening 20 minutes. Trying to close the gap, the Bucks would get back-to-back goals from Zeth Kindrachuk (1 goal, 1 assist) and Walker Gelbard (1 goal, 2 assists). Ryan Helliwell would extend Trail’s lead near the end of the third, while a late goal from Rhys Bentham for the Bucks would result in the 4-3 loss. Although Cranbrook outshot the Smoke Eaters 32-30, Trail was 2/6 on the power play.

Gelbard, a 16-year-old rookie with the Bucks, led the team with three points in the loss. He was also the only player to find the back of the net in Sunday’s contest with the Penticton Vees.

Falling 5-1 on Sunday, the Bucks were outshot 41-20 by Penticton. Gelbard’s lone power play goal in the second was the only spark on offense for Cranbrook as the team’s losing streak extended to seven games.

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Despite the slump, the team jumps right back into action on Monday.

Cranbrook will look to snap their seven-game slide against the Trail Smoke Eaters as the two teams meet for the fifth time in the shortened 20-game season.

The Bucks enter Monday’s matchup at 1-8-0-0 while the Smoke Eaters are second in the Penticton Pod with a 4-5-0-0 record. Cranbrook’s only win of the BCHL so far came against the Smoke Eaters back on April 4th.

Gelbard now leads the Bucks alongside Zeth Kindrachuck. Each has 8 points with Gelbard scoring 2 goals and adding 6 assists, while Kindrachuck has 3 goals and 5 assists on the season. Trail is led by Noah Wakeford (3 goals, 5 assists) and Quinn Disher (4 goals, 4 assists), each of whom also has 8 points on the year.

Monday’s puck drop is slated for 8 p.m. MT from the South Okanagan Events Centre.

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