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Game Day | CRA at TRA

Another close game and another close loss to their Kootenay rival.

The Cranbrook Bucks took their first lead of the night at 1:14 of the third period and held on for a 3-2 win, their first at home this season.


The Smokies got off to a sensational and dominant start, forcing Bucks goalie Danick Leroux to make several great saves until Josh Schenk beat him with a nifty forehand-backhand deke about four minutes into the first period.


The Bucks bounced back just over eight minutes later when Kaslo Ferner fired a surprise shot from the top of the left-wing circle through traffic to tie the game heading to the second period.


Trail jumped back on top midway through the middle frame when Adam Marshall deflected an Ethan Warrener point shot into the top corner on a Smokies power play and the Trail boys continued to press.


They had a great chance to extend the lead on another power play late in the second period, but that’s when things went sideways.


The puck took a crazy hop into the neutral zone, which sent Cranbrook’s Julian Frias on a breakaway.


While being harassed from behind by Smoke Eaters defenseman Adam Barrone, Frias managed to deke Trail goalie Teagan Kendrick and shovel home a backhander with three seconds left in the period to tie the game 2-2.


That set the stage for the Bucks power play winner early in the third period.


Julian Frias deflected a low point shot from Nelson native Bryce Sookro that eluded Kendrick and that goal stood up as the winner, despite chances by both teams down the stretch and big saves by both netminders.


The shots were even at 34 apiece. Trail was 1-for-4 on the power play, while Cranbrook went 1-for-5.


The Smoke Eaters will try to win their first game in the last 15 regular season battles against the Bucks tonight (Saturday) in Trail.


Opening face off for “Country Night” at Cominco Arena is at 7 o’clock Pacific Time.