With just one game in the past week, there wasn’t a lot of time for Cranbrook Bucks players to make their mark in the three stars of the week — something we are doing for the first time today.
With that being said, Saturday’s matchup against their arch rivals certainly provided an opportunity for Bucks players to step up and show what they have to offer.
The Bucks big 5-3 win over Trail certainly showcased some performances worth recognizing, so here they are.
First Star — Tyson Dyck
Cranbrook’s leading scorer Tyson Dyck had a week that he won’t soon forget.
It started on Wednesday when he was one of seven BCHL players listed on NHL Central Scouting’s Mid-Season Rankings.
Dyck carried the momentum he gained from that recognition right into Saturday’s contest against the Smoke Eaters, assisting on the Bucks first three goals of the game, and scoring the fifth.
After recording four points in the Bucks win against Trail, he now sits second overall in BCHL scoring with 41 points.
His four-point performance on the weekend netted Dyck an honourable mention in the BCHL’s three stars, but he’s our first star of the week!
Second Star — Johnny Johnson
Forward Johnny Johnson’s strong performance included scoring the first goal of the game on Saturday night.
A tweak in the lineup saw Johnson playing with Dyck and Liam Hansson, and the trio had a strong night together despite only combining on the opening goal.
The assistant captain’s strong game also included being a noticeable leader in a game that the team really had to dig deep to win.
Third Star — Nathan Airey
One of the more under-the-radar performances on the weekend was that of Bucks goalie Nathan Airey, who stopped 36 of 39 shots in the 5-3 win.
After a few breakdowns and unlucky bounces in the Bucks zone allowed Trail to get back within a goal at 4-3, Airey shut the door for the second half of the game and earned a well-deserved victory.
His best save of the night was undoubtedly a third period desperation toe save he made on a 2-on-1 break for the Smoke Eaters while they urgently pressed to get back in the game.
Unsung hero of the week — Hayden Gelbard
This week’s unsung hero probably could have been anyone from the Bucks fourth line, as they put forth a consistent effort all night.
From their forechecking in the offensive zone, to their play in the defensive zone, the trio of Hayden Gelbard, AJ Vasko, and Brendan Rogers were effective all night long.
Gelbard ultimately set himself apart from the rest with a shift that resulted in a huge fifth goal for the Bucks to earn unsung hero of the week.
In addition to the players and their contributions listed above, there were definitely some other performances worth noting.
All six of Cranbrook’s defensemen performed well at both ends of the rink, with Bauer Morrissey and Cam Kungle scoring goals, while Cole Assailly and Quaid Anderson added assists.
Captain Rhys Bentham was his reliable self, and Declan Ride was a noticeable force before leaving the game with an injury.
Jarrod Smith had a strong game playing between Zeth Kindrachuk and the new guy Carter Schmidt, while a new-look line of Noah Quinn, Kellan Hjartarson, and Luke Pfoh also performed well.
After playing just the one game this past weekend, the Bucks hit the road for three games against Wenatchee and West Kelowna this week — offering lots of opportunity for next week’s stars.