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Trail Smoke Eaters lose both ends of a home-and-home to Cranbrook Bucks

The Cranbrook Bucks come back from 3-1 deficit to sweep weekend series over Smoke Eaters
Trail Smoke Eaters forward Zach Michaelis breaks for the net, but, is stymied on this effort as Trail dropped both games against the Cranbrook Bucks this weekend. Photos: Jim Bailey

The Cranbrook Bucks took two from the Trail Smoke Eaters in a home-and-home series this weekend.

The Bucks came back for a 4-3 victory on Saturday night in Cranbrook, following a 5-3 win in Trail on Friday.

Cranbrook forward Brendan Rogers scored the game winner with 12:25 to play in the third period. The Bucks fought their way back from a 3-1 second period deficit to earn its 12th win of the season.

Despite being outshot 13-5 in the opening frame, Trail carried a 1-0 lead into the second following a power-play goal by Connor Michaud 3:29 into the match.

Just nine seconds into the secodn, Zach Michaelis notched his 18th of the season with another power play marker.

However, Cole Assailly put the Bucks on the board with his second of the campaign, but Smoke Eaters defenceman Cameron Moger blasted his fourth goal past Bucks goalie Nathan Airey to make it 3-1.

Cue the comeback.

Cranbrook all star forward Tyson Dyck cut the lead to one on a setup from Nelson native Noah Quinn with 37 seconds to play in the second period.

Dyck then returned the favour, assisting on Quinn’s ninth of the year 4:25 into the third period to tie it at 3-3.

The Bucks outshot the Smoke Eaters 42-34 and were 0-for-4 on the power play, while Trail went 2-for-2.

In Friday’s match, Trail took a 1-0 first period lead on a breakaway goal by Teddy Lagerback, but a five minute major penalty to Trail captain Coalson Wolford, gave the Bucks the opportunity they were looking for.

Cranbrook scored twice on the man advantage, with goals from Johnny Johnson and Kellen Hjartarson that were deflected past Trail goalie Evan Fradette for a 2-1 lead.

Brady Hunter tied it, finishing a 2-on-1 with Corey Cunningham midway through the second period. However, Hjartarson and A.J. Vasko scored in the final three minutes to give the Bucks a 4-2 lead heading into the final frame.

Hayden Gelbard put Cranbrook up 5-2 before Lagerback netted his 13th on a setup from Charlie Strobel for the 5-3 final.

Cranbrook outshot Trail 47-19 and went 2-for-9 on the power play.

With the losses, the 12-10-1-0 Smoke Eaters drop into sixth place in the Interior Conference, two points behind 13-10-1-0 Bucks.

Trail’s next home game goes on New Years Day Jan. 1, with a special 5 p.m. start at the Trail Memorial Centre.

Jim Bailey

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