Cranbrook Bucks three stars for week one


It was a big week for the Cranbrook Bucks. From the first game to the first win, and all the achievements in between. It was a week of milestones for both the team and its players.

I’ll recognize five players — three stars, and two honourable mentions — who had a strong showing over the last week. Cranbrook played five games in eight days to start its BC Hockey League tenure, giving me a good sample size with which to work.

Picking just five players was not an easy task, however. Cranbrook had several players with noticeable performances in the first week of the season.

Forward Walker Gelbard had quite the week, including a two-assist debut, finishing with four points in five games. Gelbard is the youngest player on the Bucks, having just turned 16 on Feb. 9.

AJ Vasko was another forward that got off to a good start. Vasko scored goals in each of Cranbrook’s first two games of the season before an injury sidelined him for the next three contests.

There were also some defensemen who had good showings for Cranbrook last week. Cameron Kungle, who is an alternate captain for the Bucks, scored a goal and added an assist in his first five games. In addition to his point production, Kungle’s play was very consistent to begin his BCHL career.

Cranbrook’s other alternate captain Rhys Bentham also had himself a solid week. The rearguard recorded his first two points in the league and scored Cranbrook’s first-ever shorthanded goal. Bentham’s responsible play continued to set the bar for the Bucks backend.

The list of stand-out performers could go on and on, so I’ll get to the best of the best.

The Cranbrook Bucks three stars of the week

Here are my three stars for the week from Apr. 3 – 10.

First star — forward Zeth Kindrachuk

2002-born Kindrachuk was everywhere during the first week of the season, beginning his BCHL career on a four-game point streak. He recorded two goals and four assists over that span to lead Cranbrook in points.

Kindrachuk did more than just produce points, however. His own style of play perfectly personified how the Bucks play — fast, skilled, and tenacious. The product of Calgary set the pace for his teammates and found success while doing so.

Second star — forward Noah Quinn

Nelson, BC’s Quinn had a fantastic start to the season for the Bucks. The 2003-born forward scored one goal and added three assists in four contests to sit third on the Bucks in scoring.

Although he was productive on the scoresheet, it’s the intangibles that made Quinn the player that he was. He took faceoffs and killed penalties, and did both very well. Yet, while being responsible defensively, Quinn still found a way to be just as good offensively.

Third star — defenseman Quaid Anderson

Cranbrook native Anderson had a solid showing in his first four BCHL games with his hometown team. He scored a goal for his first point and added an assist in each of the next two games to finish the week on a three-game point streak.

In addition to owning Cranbrook’s longest point streak by a defenseman, Anderson’s play on the backend was steady. The 2001-born blue-liner didn’t give up much ice and was hard to beat one-on-one.

Anderson seemed to gain confidence, and a bigger role on the team, with each game he played.

Honourable mentions

Just missing the cut as stars of the week, here are my honourable mentions.

Forward Tyson Dyck

2004-born Dyck ended his first week in the BCHL leading his team in goals. The Abbotsford product scored three times and added two assists in five games.

Despite being one of the youngest players on the team, Dyck looked like he may be one of the biggest offensive threats. He didn’t need much time or space to score goals, so I’d expect his production to continue.

Forward Christian Lowe

A Port Moody, BC product, Lowe was noticeable all over the ice last week. He finished the week with one goal and one assist in five games. It’s not his point production but everything else he does that makes him stand out.

Lowe took a ton of faceoffs for Cranbrook and seemed to win most of them. He flew around the ice as one of the fastest skaters on a team with speed to spare. He was and continues to be the hardest worker on the ice every time he jumps over the bench, making him invaluable for the Bucks.

Unfortunately, injuries to key players have begun to pile up for Cranbrook, but that gives others an opportunity to step up. The players mentioned in this article will continue to be counted on by the Bucks, and obviously, they would welcome newcomers to this list next week.