The BC Hockey League held its 2023 Top Prospects Game in Penticton on Friday night, and the Cranbrook Bucks trio of Donovan Frias, Jack Silich, and Jaxon Fuder were very noticeable.
The three Bucks forwards played on a line together for most of the night, and their chemistry — among other things — made them a threat throughout the game.
But before they found their way onto the scoresheet, it was on the penalty-kill that they stood out.
After Team East took the first penalty of the game, Frias started the PK off with a face-off win, before forcing a turnover and creating a shorthanded chance later in the shift.
Following a successful penalty-kill helped along by Frias’ strong work, Team East took a 1-0 lead into the first intermission.
The game broke open in the middle stanza with the East Prospects jumping out to a 3-0 lead, but a last-second goal by Team West made it a 3-1 score heading for the third period.
The final frame is when Cranbrook’s representatives really took the game over.
First, it was Frias with another takeaway before going in alone and tucking it past the goalie.
Then, after some help from Silich forcing the turnover, Fuder found himself alone on a breakaway and made no mistake.
The back-to-back Bucks goal-scorers in the third put Team East up by a 5-1 score before the midway point of the period.
The two teams exchanged goals in the back half of the frame, and East skated away with a 6-2 win.
It was a strong showing from the Bucks representatives, with Frias being arguably the best player on the ice.
The BCHL’s All-Star weekend continues on Saturday with the skills competition starting at 1:00pm pacific time — in which Silich will be taking part in the accuracy shooting event.
Silich will then take part in the 3-on-3 all-star tournament, playing alongside other Interior Conference participants on Team Ferraro.
Both the skills competition and all-star tournament will take place on an outdoor rink in Penticton.