BCHL Today: Bucks get first win, 13 score first BCHL goals, and more

Bucks post first regular-season franchise win

In a season of firsts, April 4, 2021 will be etched in the Bucks’ history book as the day they won their first regular season BC Hockey League game.

Cranbrook scored twice in the first and third periods and rode a 21 save performance by Jay Thomson to beat the Trail Smoke Eaters 5-3 on Sunday afternoon in Penticton.

The Bucks are now 1-1 in their inaugural BCHL season.

Powell River vs. Surrey first career BCHL goals

Colgate University commit Ben Raymond tallied his first career BCHL goal for Powell River 3:31 into the opening frame to give the Kings a 2-0 lead over Surrey.

The 2001-born product of Newton, Massachusetts, is coming off a 2019-2 season where he scored 23 goals and 41 points in 67 combined games with Dexter Southfield Prep School and the Neponset Valley River Rats.

2003-born forward Branden Toye had one goal in two junior B games this season, and he’s already doubled it in one game with the Kings in the BCHL.

Toye scored at the 3:34 mark of the second period for his first BCHL goal, and again 8:24 later, to stake Powell River to a 4-0 lead over the Eagles.

Surrey Eagles forward Tio D’Addario broke Powell River’s shutout for his first career BCHL goal with 7:31 left in the third period.

The 2002-born Montrealer put up 21 goals and 43 points in 35 games for the Mount Academy Saints U18 squad during the 2019-20 season.

A veteran of 53 career junior A games, Sunday evening wasn’t the first time Eagles forward Tyson McLean scored at this level, but it was his first goal in the BCHL and it came with 3:37 to go in the third period.

The Calgarian, who is a 2000-born player, has posted a total of nine goals in 55 career junior A games, including two games as an affiliate with Surrey back in 2018-19.

Vernon vs. West Kelowna first career BCHL goals

Vernon Vipers 2000-born defenseman Seth Bafaro has 13 Western Hockey League goals in 206 games on his resume, but it only took him playing in just his second BCHL game to get his first marker.

The Kamloops product beat West Kelowna goalie Johnny Derrick with 3:28 left in the second period to give the Vipers a 3-2 lead. They ended up winning the game 5-3.

Warriors rookie forward Cameron Hicklin made a big impact in his third career BCHL game, providing two of West Kelowna’s goals in the loss to Vernon.

The Kelowna product’s first career BCHL goal came just 125 seconds into the first period and it staked the Warriors to an early 1-0 lead. The 2003-born forward notched 18 goals for the Okanagan Rockets U18 AAA in 2019-20.

Cranbrook vs. Trail first career BCHL goals

2002-born forward Nathan Fox posted his first BCHL goal for Cranbrook with 8:06 left in the first period of Sunday’s game vs. Trail.

The Okotoks, Alberta product averaged nearly a goal per game last season, producing 21 in 29 games with the Airdrie Thunder of the junior B Heritage Junior Hockey League.

Nelson, BC product Noah Quinn gave the Bucks a 2-1 lead heading to the second period when he scored his first BCHL goal at the 17:59 mark of the opening stanza.

The 2003-born forward, who committed to Cranbrook almost exactly one year ago, had 21 goals and 45 points in 40 games with the Kootenay Ice U18 AAA in 2019-20.

Cameron Kungle is the answer to a trivia question as the first player to ever score a game-winning goal for the Cranbrook Bucks.

The 2002-born defenseman from Red Deer, Alberta, found twine just 25 seconds into the third period on Sunday to give the Bucks a 4-2 lead. Kungle was scoreless in eight games during the exhibition season.

Defenseman Drake Burgin scored into an empty net with 37 seconds left in the third period, but he’ll take it as not only did it salt away the win for Cranbrook, but it was also his first goal in the BCHL.

The 2000-born St. Lawrence University commit is no stranger to scoring at the junior A level as he potted 19 goals over the last two seasons with Winkler of the Manitoba Junior Hockey League.

Cowichan Valley vs. Nanaimo first career BCHL goals

Jaeger Murdock‘s first BCHL goal opened the scoring for the Clippers at the 3:26 mark of the first period of Nanaimo’s 5-2 win over Cowichan Valley.

The 2004-born West Vancouverite had two goals and an assist in 12 games for the Clips during the exhibition season last fall. He was an eighth-round pick of the Vancouver Giants in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft.

2003-born forward Kai Daniells stretched the Clippers lead to 2-0 when he scored his first goal in the BCHL with 4:34 left in the first period on Sunday.

The native of Whistler, BC, was held pointless in 13 exhibition games with Nanaimo but had 14 goals and 33 points for the Delta Hockey Academy U18 Prep in 2019-20.

Merritt vs. Prince George first career BCHL goals

It was mostly veterans who provided all the scoring in Prince George’s 3-2 win over Merritt on Sunday, but one rookie got in on the action as Spruce Kings defenseman Ben LeFranc notched his first BCHL goal.

It came 14:52 into the second period and stood up as the game-winner for PG. The 2003-born Pentictonite was held off the scoresheet in three games for the Spruce Kings during the exhibition season.

Reilly called up from the minors to Pittsburgh’s taxi squad

Defenseman Will Reilly (nine goals, 23 assists in 52 games with Nanaimo in 2015-16) has been assigned by the Pittsburgh Penguins from Wilkes-Barre/Scranton of the American Hockey League to their taxi squad.

The 23-year-old from Toronto has two goals and four points in 14 games with the Baby Pens this season. He hasn’t appeared in any NHL games with the big club yet.

Balkovec named executive director of RINK Hockey British Columbia

Maco Balkovec (18 goals, 79 assists in 109 games with Cowichan Valley and Merritt from 1989-91) is the new executive director of RINK British Columbia.

The 50-year-old spent the last two seasons as an assistant coach in the NCAA at Bowling Green State University. He was a fifth-round draft pick of the Chicago Blackhawks at the 1991 NHL Draft.

Rasmussen brought up to Detroit from Red Wings’ taxi squad

Forward Michael Rasmussen (no points in one game with Penticton in 2014-15) was called up to the NHL’s Detroit Red Wings from their taxi squad on Sunday.

The 21-year-old has two goals and seven points in 24 games with the Red Wings this season.

Dalpe assigned to Blue Jackets’ taxi squad

Forward Zac Dalpe (27 goals and 36 assists in 46 games with Penticton in 2007-08) has been assigned by the Columbus Blue Jackets to their taxi squad.

Dalpe, 31, is scoreless in three games with the Blue Jackets this season but has three goals and four points in five games with the American Hockey League’s Cleveland Monsters.

Fogarty called upon by Buffalo on an emergency loan

Forward Steven Fogarty (33 goals, 48 assists in 60 games for Penticton in 2011-12) was reassigned from the taxi squad to the Buffalo Sabres as an emergency loan on Sunday.

The 27-year-old from Chambersburg, Pennsylvania has played six games for the Sabres this season and has one goal and a pair of assists. He also has eight points in 10 games with Rochester of the American Hockey League.

Three Stars of the Night

First Star: Vernon forward Cameron MacDonald tallied a goal and two assists in the Vipers 5-3 victory against West Kelowna.

Second Star: Trail forward Noah Wakeford had two goals and an assist as the Smoke Eaters lost 5-3 to Cranbrook.

Third Star: Kings forward Branden Toye posted two goals as Powell River topped Surrey 5-2.

Honourable Mentions: Vipers forward JoJo Tanaka-Campbell, Warriors forward Cameron Hicklin, Powell River forward Josh Kagan, and Merritt forward Jerzy Orchard each finished with two goals on the night.