The Smoke Eaters took care of business on Wednesday night as they headed to Cranbrook and put up 7 in a 7-4 win over their Kootenay rivals.
After a back and forth start it was the Smoke Eaters who opened the scoring in Cranbrook with just over five minutes remaining in the first as Cunningham repeated a play that almost resulted in goal earlier in the period, as he put a shot under the arm of Nathan Airey and had enough to roll across the line.
The Smoke Eaters would double their lead 4 minutes later as the powerplay came through with a tip down by Teddy Lagerback, who scored his third goal in his last two games, as the point shot from Evan Bushy was tipped past Airey to give the Smoke Eaters a 2-0 lead late in the first period.
The Smoke Eaters then made it 3-0 as Zach Michaelis continued to score goals at Western Financial Place, as Corey Cunningham found him in behind the Bucks defence to make it 3-0.
The Bucks then surged back getting goals by Tyson Dyck and Noah Liebl to make it a 3-2 game as Cranbrook turned the game on it’s head in response to the deficit. But the Smoke Eaters had an answer for that through Chris Kobelka who let a rocket go for his first BCHL goal just before the halfway mark of the second period.
The Smoke Eaters then restored their three goal lead as Michaelis added his second of the period and the second of the night with a nice link up play with Cunningham again.
Cranbrook wouldn’t go away though as they were given a two man advantage late in the period that the Smoke Eaters furiously defended, but the failure to clear the puck and a tired unit was what the Buck needed to get one past Fradette, as Noah Quinn beat the Smoke Eaters netminder to send the two teams to the intermission separated by two goals.
In the third the Bucks pounced early as again Quinn and Dyck combined, as Quinn held the zone, put a low shot on Fradette who could do nothing but kick the puck into the middle where Dyck was waiting to score the Bucks fourth goal of the night. The Bucks would push but never get any closer, the Smoke Eaters would seal it then with two goals late. The first was Brady Hunter to cap off an all around perfect night for his line of Cunningham and Michaelis.
Then Cam Moger would score the touchdown goal with a point shot with under three to go in the game, as the Smoke Eaters refused to let off the gas and put the game out of reach.
The Smoke Eaters now lead the season series 3-1 against the Bucks as they pick up another road win in Cranbrook. The Smoke Eaters stay on the road for two more games as on Friday they’ll head to Vernon to take on the Vipers at Kal Tire Place before a meeting against the Merritt Centennials on Saturday. Both games can be seen on BCHLTV or hear on the Smoke Eaters mixlr.