The first full season in the history of the Cranbrook Bucks has come to an end, following a 3-2 overtime loss to the Prince George Spruce Kings in game six of their first-round playoff series.
Like game five, neither team was able to find the net in the opening period. Prince George had the edge in play and shots for most of the first twenty minutes, outshooting Cranbrook 23-10. The Spruce Kings’ shot count was slightly boosted by a pair of power play chances, neither of which were converted to goals. After twenty minutes, a 0-0 tie remained intact.
Action began to pick up in the second period. The Bucks started things off with a Declan Ride power play goal at 6:14 to put Cranbrook in a 1-0 lead. That lead would be brief, the Spruce Kings came back with a goal of their own less than one-minute later thanks to a shot from Evan Fedele which found its way past Nathan Airey. Cranbrook managed to retake the lead late in the period with another power play goal, this time from Tyson Dyck. The Bucks held a 2-1 lead heading into the third period of a must-win game six.
The stage was set for a pivotal third period. The game had switched back to a defensive chess match for the final frame. It appeared the Bucks had secured the momentum they needed to win the game after killing a five-minute major penalty to Zeth Kindrachuk just past the midway mark of the final regulation frame. However, the Spruce Kings kept pressing and they were rewarded with time waning. A late rush resulted in a Prince George 2-on-1, Nick Rheaume slid the puck to Rowan Miller who was able to tally the tying goal at 16:43. The score remained a 2-2 draw after 60 minutes, prompting the first overtime session of the series.
Both teams had their share of chances in OT, but the night belonged to Prince George. Rowan Miller scored the game-winner at 13:42 on a solo effort, clinching the series for the Spruce Kings with a 3-2 win in overtime.
Cranbrook goalie Nathan Airey was the game’s first star, he faced 50 shots in game six – stopping 47. The Bucks fired 30 shots on the Prince George net. Cranbrook’s power play finished 2/3, while Prince George went 0/3 with the man-advantage.