Game Recap: Spruce Kings 5, Bucks 0 (Jan. 8, 2022)

Vicki Brown / MyLight Photography

The Cranbrook Bucks fell 5-0 to the Prince George Spruce Kings on Saturday night, to split a pair of home games against their northern Interior Conference rivals this weekend.

One night after beating the Spruce Kings 1-0 in overtime, the Bucks welcomed Prince George back to Western Financial Place, but could not match the intensity of the hungry visitors.

Cranbrook took three minor penalties in the opening period, giving Prince George ample opportunity to open the scoring.

The Spruce Kings were able to capitalize on their second powerplay, and open the scoring at 9:41 of the first period.

Following a blocked shot by Bucks defenseman Quaid Anderson, Prince George forward Ty Gagno grabbed a loose puck and fired it by Cranbrook goalie Nathan Airey.

The PP goal was assisted by Luc Laylin and Dylan Schives, making it 1-0 Spruce Kings.

The road team would extend its lead to 2-0 at 13:51 of the first on a goal by Killian McGregor-Bennett, from Gagno and Evan Fedele.

The shots were even at 14-apiece through one period, but a couple of Bucks breakdowns gave Prince George the two-goal lead into the first intermission.

Another breakdown in the Cranbrook defensive zone allowed the Spruce Kings to obtain a three-goal lead just 4:49 into the second stanza.

Following a puck battle in the corner, Rowan Miller was able to hammer a one-timer home, from Nick Rheaume and Simon Labelle, making it 3-0.

The Bucks did put up a fight in the middle frame, which included gaining some momentum from a couple of powerplays, but couldn’t beat Prince George netminder Aaron Trotter.

In the dying minutes of the second, the Spruce Kings raced up the ice with numbers and were able to extended their lead even further.

After Airey stopped an initial shot from defenseman Colton Cameron, the rebound was buried by Laylin to make it 4-0 Prince George.

Laylin’s second of the game at 17:25 was assisted by Cameron and John Herrington.

Cranbrook outshot the Spruce Kings 16-12 in the middle frame, but found themselves in a deep hole after 40 minutes.

The third period was rather quiet for both teams as Prince George tried to nurse its big lead home.

Each team put just six pucks on net in the final frame, and there was just one goal to speak of.

On their fifth powerplay opportunity of the game, Spruce Kings captain Kolton Cousins cashed in their second PP goal of the night by slipping one five-hole on Airey.

The 5-0 goal at 13:55 was assisted by Laylin for his third point of the night, and McGregor-Bennett for his second.

The win gives Prince George the edge in the five-game season series, in which the Spruce Kings picked up points in all five contests, going 3-0-2 against Cranbrook this season.

Here is a look at the Bucks season series against Prince George:

The loss for Cranbrook ended a seven-game point-streak that saw the Bucks go 6-0-1 during that stretch.

Here are the game highlights from Saturday’s 5-0 loss, courtesy of the Spruce Kings YouTube channel.

You can view post-game recap from the Bucks website here, and Prince George’s recap here.

The official BC Hockey League boxscore can also be viewed here.

Next up for Cranbrook is a Thursday night affair on home ice against the Wenatchee Wild.

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