Game Recap: Wild 3, Bucks 2 (Jan. 21, 2022)

Cranbrook Bucks Photo

The Cranbrook Bucks and Wenatchee Wild met for a second consecutive contest on Friday night, and the result was the same as the night before.

Not only was the score identical to Thursday’s 3-2 Wild win, but the game played out in a very similar fashion.

The only real difference in the second of two straight matchups south of the border for the Bucks was the amount of penalties that were assessed.

After just two minor penalties were called in the entirety of Thursday’s game, Friday saw 14 penalties called, and six in the opening 20 minutes.

The first period had a frantic pace with both teams creating chances, getting powerplays, and battling through lengthy shifts in their defensive zone.

There was once again no scoring in the opening frame, in a period that saw the Bucks outshoot Wenatchee 13-8 as they tried to make amends for a tight loss one night earlier.

The game opened up early in the second period with both teams trading chances, and it was the Wild that would score a couple quick ones to get things going for the second straight contest.

At 2:20 of the middle frame, Parker Murray scored his first goal with the Wild to make it 1-0 Wenatchee.

Then just 1:25 later, the Wild extended their lead with a powerplay marker from Garrett Szydlowski to make it 2-0.

The two-goal lead would be short-lived, however, as just 18 seconds after Wenatchee’s second goal, Cranbrook’s Kellan Hjartarson tallied to get the Bucks on the board.

Hjartarson raced up the ice on a 2-on-1 and picked the short side top corner for an unassisted answer, and it was a 2-1 game.

It was the third straight game that the Bucks new second line of Hjartarson, Noah Quinn, and Luke Pfoh contributed since the Bucks were shutout in a Jan. 8 game against Prince George.

And it wouldn’t be long before the new top line would also extend its production streak.

Just 38 seconds after Hjartarson got the Bucks on the board, leading scorer Tyson Dyck sniped one of his own to square the game back up at 2-2.

Dyck’s 19th goal of the season was assisted by line-mates Johnny Johnson and Liam Hansson, marking the third straight game that the new top line had combined on a goal for the Bucks.

All tolled, four goals in a 2:21 span early in the second put the contest back to even at 2-2 with lots of hockey left.

The game settled down as far as scoring was concerned, but the frantic pace of an emotional second consecutive matchup kept up through 40 minutes.

Cranbrook outshot Wenatchee again in the second stanza, this time by a 11-7 margin, as they pushed for their first lead of the two-game set in the US.

The Wild once again wasted little time taking a third period lead, as captain Quinn Emerson sniped one to put his team back ahead.

Emerson’s fifth of the season at 3:35 of the final frame made it 3-2 Wenatchee.

The Bucks spent the final 16 minutes pressing for a tying goal, including four minutes on the powerplay, but failed again to find an equalizing third tally.

Despite an 8-6 third period shots advantage, two powerplay opportunities, and plenty of chances, the Bucks ran out of time in another 3-2 loss.

The second straight 3-2 loss in Wenatchee gives the Bucks back-to-back losses for the first time since Dec. 9 and 10 on a three-game road trip to Prince George.

Cranbrook is now winless through two games in the season series with the Wild;

Eight games (0-2-0)

The Bucks will look to snap their mini two-game losing streak on Sunday afternoon when they play the Warriors in West Kelowna.

The game recap from the Bucks website can be found here, and from Wenatchee’s here.

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