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Bucks toss Spruce Kings at 3-2 loss

Goals came in odd ways Friday night at Kopar Memorial Arena as the Cranbrook Bucks defeated the Prince George Spruce Kings 3-2.

The Bucks leap ahead of the Spruce Kings in the standings with the win, improving their record to 14-8-1 and now sit in second of the Interior Division following an overtime loss by the West Kelowna Warriors.

Prince George sits fourth in the standings, with a record of 13-8-1-1.

Nathan Airey earned the win between the pipes for the Bucks, stopping 33 of the 35 shots fired by Prince George. Jordan Fairlie was handed his fifth loss of the season after letting in three goals on 23 shots.

After a scoreless opening period, the Bucks opened the scoring in the second period.

Blake Cotton scored his first goal of the season in his first game as a Buck after starting the season with the Surrey Eagles. The goal came at 3:32 of the middle frame and was assisted by Jaden Fodchuk and Jaxon Fuder.

After successfully killing off a penalty, the Bucks were back to even strength later in the period, however, Jack Stockfish pounced on a rebound and potted his fifth goal of the season to tie the game up at 1-1. Luca Primerano and Jake Schneider assisted the play.

With the game tied after 40 minutes, the Bucks scored another go-ahead goal less than 1:30 into the final period of regulation. Leading the team in points, Jack Silich added to his season totals as he batted a puck out of mid-air while close to the Prince George net. The goal marked Silich’s 15th of the season.

Prince George found themselves on the powerplay following a tripping penalty to Jack Henry, offering up an opportunity to tie the game back up. And that they did.

Defenceman Ben LeFranc worked the puck to the left side of the Cranbrook zone before sending the puck up top to Austin Fraser. From there, Fraser found John Herrington positioned inside the right-wing circle and set up the Spruce Kings’ leading scorer for a one-timer. Herrington scored his 14th goal of the season to tie the game up at 2-2 on the powerplay.

Cranbrook leapt ahead one final time after Jack Kurrle coughed the puck up in front of his own net, leading to Jarrod Smith stepping up and scoring his seventh of the season and what would turn into the eventual game-winner.

Prince George has now lost two in a row after losing to the West Kelowna Warriors 4-3 last Saturday.

The Spruce Kings and Bucks will be back at Kopar Memorial Arena on Saturday to wrap up the weekend series between the two clubs.

Puck drop is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. with doors opening at 6:00 p.m.

Tickets will be available all day online at, or through the team’s front office beginning at 12:00 p.m.

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