The Salmon Arm Silverbacks have brought out the best in the Cranbrook Bucks so far this season, and that was the case again on Thursday night.
Salmon Arm came to town with the BC Hockey League’s second-best record at 33-8-4 — including 19-0-3 on the road — and had won three straight games.
One of the few teams to cause them much difficulty at all this season has been the Bucks, and that trend continued in the fifth and final meeting of the season.
After surrendering the game’s first goal on a seeing-eye shot from the point that found its way through to the back of the net, Cranbrook shut the door for the remaining 55 minutes.
Bucks leading-scorer Tyson Dyck picked up his 60th point of the season and 65th career BCHL point when he tied the game at 1-1 in the final five minutes of the second period.
Rhys Bentham and Noah Quinn picked up assists on Dyck’s 27th goal of the season, which came on the powerplay.
The game stayed tied for the remainder of regulation with both teams playing well defensively and the goalies locked-in between the pipes.
Each team was credited with one shot on goal in overtime, and it was the Bucks that made theirs count.
Kellan Hjartarson was strong on the puck to fend off one Silverbacks defender, before passing the puck around another, to set Dyck up in the slot.
Dyck scored his second of the game, assisted by Hjartarson, for the overtime winner.
Bucks goalie Nathan Airey made 29 saves on 30 shots for his 16th win of the season.
It was Cranbrook’s fourth win in the five-game season series against the Silverbacks.
Five games (4-1-0)
- Nov. 13: @ Salmon Arm (4-0 W)
- Nov. 14: @ Salmon Arm (2-1 W)
- Jan. 28: vs Salmon Arm (3-0 L)
- Jan. 29: vs Salmon Arm (6-5 SOW)
- Mar. 3: vs Salmon Arm (2-1 OTW)
The Bucks are back in action on Saturday when they face the Wenatchee Wild in the first two two-straight games south of the border.