Bucks settle for a single point in Wednesday’s thrilling OT loss to Penticton

📸: Tim Matwey / Cranbrook Bucks

The Cranbrook Bucks kicked off their three-game Interior road trip on Wednesday night at the South Okanagan Events Centre in Penticton, facing the Vees for the second time this season.

The Bucks entered the game with just two wins in 16 previous matchups against the defending BC Hockey League champions from Penticton, but that didn’t stop them from giving the Vees all they could handle in this one.

Cranbrook got the scoring started on Wednesday courtesy of a Carsyn Good power-play marker just before the midway point of the opening period.

Good’s second of the season at 9:18 from Cam Kungle and Jaden Fodchuk gave the Bucks a 1-0 lead.

The Vees were able to get back on even-terms during a man-advantage of their own, when Thomas Pichette scored at 18:18 of the first to square the game at one.

Before the end of the period, Bucks leading-scorer and reigning BCHL first star of the week Jack Silich was awarded a penalty shot — and he didn’t miss.

Silich ripped a wicked wrist shot into the top corner of the net at 19:34 of the opening period to put the Bucks back in front.

His team-leading 10th goal of the season extended his goal-scoring streak to an impressive five consecutive contests.

Cranbrook escaped the first period with a 2-1 lead, despite being outshot 27-8 by the Vees through 20 minutes.

The Bucks would extend their lead to 3-1 early in the second period when defender Rhys Bentham finished a nice give-and-go play with Silich.

Bentham’s goal at 4:39 of the middle frame was his fourth of the young season, which already surpasses his total from the past two seasons combined.

The Bucks captain now has 13 points on the campaign, while Silich assisted on the goal to push his team-leading point total to 14.

Penticton was able to answer back on a power-play goal from Josh Nadeau at 9:48, and then tie the game before the end of the second period courtesy of captain Frank Djurasevic at 16:47.

The game stayed tied 3-3 through the remainder of regulation, and in overtime the Vees connected on their third power-play goal of the contest from Bradley Nadeau to take a tight 4-3 win.

Special-teams was a huge factor in this one, as Penticton went 3-for-5 on the power-play, while the Bucks went 1-for-3 with the man advantage and also scored the penalty-shot goal from Silich.

The Vees outshot Cranbrook 55-25 through 62:40 of hockey at the SOEC on Wednesday night, with Bucks goalie Nathan Airey earning second star honours making 51 saves.

Bradley Nadeau was named first star after scoring the overtime winner and assisting on his brother Josh’s goal earlier in the night, while Brett Moravec was named third star with an assist in the game.

For the Bucks, Silich now has eight goals and 11 points during his five-game goal-scoring streak, while Kungle’s assist gives him points in four straight, collecting one goal and seven assists during that time.

The game boxscore from the league website can be viewed here, and a recap of the game from Cranbrook’s website is here.

The Bucks are back in action on Friday night against the Silverbacks as they continue their road trip in Salmon Arm.

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