Quinn’s hat-trick, Fleet’s 33 saves the difference in Cranbrook’s 5-2 win over Vernon

📸: Martin Ross / Cranbrook Bucks

Noah Quinn scored three more goals and Matthew Fleet made 33 saves on 35 shots as the Cranbrook Bucks defeated the Vernon Vipers by a 5-2 final on Sunday afternoon.

Two nights after becoming the franchise’s all-time goal-scoring leader in Friday’s 2-0 win over Wenatchee, Quinn’s hat-trick was the difference in an otherwise tightly contested game.

The Bucks appeared to be off and running early when Quinn opened the scoring just 22 seconds into the contest.

However, the game stayed at 1-0 in Cranbrook’s favour until 5:04 of the second period when Vernon’s Reagan Milburn evened things up at one-apiece.

Just as they did in the opening period, the Bucks got off to a quick start in the third when Donovan Frias scored his 16th goal of the season 1:30 into the frame.

Quinn extended the Bucks lead to 3-1 with a power-play goal at 15:36 of the third with what stood as the eventual game winner.

He would later add an empty-net goal to complete the hat-trick.

The Vipers were quick to respond after Quinn made it 3-1, as Walker Erickson finished a pretty passing play to bring Vernon back within a goal at 16:53.

Cranbrook then got Quinn’s empty-netter at 18:37 followed by another from Kellan Hjartarson at 19:50 to take a three-goal lead.

Despite a tight game throughout against a Vipers team that battled right to the end, the Bucks skated away with the 5-2 win.

Quinn was named the game’s first star after scoring three times and having another solid 60-minute performance.

Frias was the second star following his third period goal and a strong game of his own.

Fleet earned third star honours after making 33 stops in the Cranbrook net — none bigger than this game-saver in the dying minutes.

The win improved Cranbrook’s record on the season to 24-10-1. It was the Bucks eighth straight victory on home ice, where they are now 13-2-0 this season.

Cranbrook now has a 2-1-0 record against Vernon in 2022-23, while improving to 4-2-3 against the Vipers all-time in an ultra-tight Interior Conference rivalry.

The game boxscore can be viewed here from the BCHL website, while a recap from the Bucks site is here.

Game highlights can be viewed below from the Bucks Network YouTube channel.

Cranbrook will be back in action on Friday, Jan. 27 when it hosts the West Kelowna Warriors.

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