The Cranbrook Bucks overcame an early deficit to end up defeating the Prince George Spruce Kings 4-3 in overtime on Saturday as both teams wrapped up their regular season schedules at Western Financial Place.
The Spruce Kings wrap up the season with a record of 27-20-6-1.
Prince George couldn’t have asked for a better start to the game as John Herrington and Ben LeFranc each scored inside the first two minutes of the game to put the Spruce Kings up 2-0. The score would remain there for the duration of the opening period and into the first intermission.
In the second period, the Bucks stormed back to knot the game up. Goals from Donovan Frias and Kellan Hjartarson brought the score back to even, setting up for what was sure to be a competitive final period.
In the third, a scramble in front of the Bucks’ net led to Ty Gagno putting a puck in past a scrambling Carter Capton to put PG ahead 3-2 with just over five minutes remaining.
Now with the lead, the Spruce Kings couldn’t quite hold on as the Bucks opted to pull Capton in favour of the extra skater following a timeout call and a faceoff inside the Spruce Kings' end. Nick Peluso ended up tying the game with 1:14 remaining in the period, ultimately forcing the game to go into overtime.
In overtime, it was Noah Quinn proving to be the hero of the night as he ended up tallying his 21st goal of the season.
Despite having earned a point, Prince George will have to settle for fifth in the Interior Division as West Kelowna and Salmon Arm’s game on Saturday went to a shootout, giving each team at least a point and enough to remain ahead of the Spruce Kings in the standings.
Prince George will now have to wait for the result of Sunday’s game between the Penticton Vees and Salmon Arm Silverbacks in order to determine who they will be facing in the opening round of the Shaw BCHL Playoffs. If the Silverbacks win, it means they will face PG in the first round. A Salmon Arm win means the Spruce Kings will venture to West Kelowna for Games 1 and 2 of the first round.