Weekend Recap: Bucks sweep home-and-home against rival Smoke Eaters

Trail’s Jaden Senkoe and Cranbrook’s Noah Quinn face-off in a game at Western Financial Place. (Photo supplied by the Cranbrook Bucks)

The Cranbrook Bucks enjoyed a successful final weekend before the Christmas break, picking up back-to-back victories over their cross-Kootenay rivals.

The Bucks travelled to Trail on Friday night coming off a win in their last game against Prince George, while the Smoke Eaters last game was a loss on home ice against Penticton.

Despite giving up the only goal of the opening frame, the Bucks established an aggressive, fast-paced style that the home side wasn’t able to match.

In a near-perfect road game by the Bucks on Friday, they outshot Trail 47-19 and picked up a 5-3 victory in the first game of a home-and-home series.

It was one of the more complete team efforts all season, and certainly the best in a while. The Bucks went into their arch rival’s barn on a Friday night and executed their game-plan, setting the tone for the entire weekend early in the first game.

On Saturday the two teams faced off for an encore performance in Cranbrook, and it was much of the same.

The Bucks did once again have to come from behind to beat the Smoke Eaters on home ice, as Trail led the game 3-1 into the dying minutes of the second period.

A late goal in the second period and two more in the third sealed the victory in what was another complete 60 minute effort.

The Bucks again carried much of the play, outshooting Trail 42-34 in the 4-3 win.

The weekend sweep against Trail evens the season series at three wins apiece, while the Bucks also got themselves back to even through eight games in December.

Cranbrook also swung a trade with the Victoria Grizzlies over the weekend, sending Noah Leibl and future considerations to the Provincial Capital in exchange for defenseman Declan Ride. More information on the trade can be found here.

The Bucks are now off for the holiday break before returning for another home-and-home with Trail on Dec. 31 and Jan. 1.

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