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Cranbrook Bucks three stars of week three


The Cranbrook Bucks took a big step forward in the third week of the 2020-21 season. Overall, they posted a 1-2-1 record and picked up at least a point against both Penticton and Trail last week.

The Bucks recorded their second win of the season on Apr. 21 when they beat Penticton 1-0 in a shootout. It was the Bucks first win against the Vees, and the first shutout in franchise history.

Then on Apr. 25, Cranbrook once again went to a shootout. This time the Bucks lost to Trail in the game-deciding skills competition to pick up a single point.

Just like I’ve done for week one and week two of the season, I’ll recognize five players for their contributions last week. Although they found a little more success, Cranbrook continued to battle without some key players due to injury.

Forwards Noah Quinn and Tyson Dyck were both unavailable for the second week in a row. By the time the week concluded, the injured list also included Walker Gelbard, Quaid Anderson, and Sheldon PryceThat left the Bucks with just 17 skaters for the shootout loss to Trail on Apr. 25.

Despite being undermanned, Cranbrook once again had some new contributors step up throughout the week. Let’s take a look at the Bucks top performers from week three of the BCHL season.

The three stars of the week

Here are my Cranbrook Bucks three stars of the week for the four games played between Apr. 19 and 25.

First Star — Nikolas Sombrowski

Sombrowski had a breakout performance last week in which he tallied three goals. He was the game’s second star on Apr. 24 after scoring both Cranbrook goals in the 3-2 loss to Penticton. The forward followed that up with another tally the next night against Trail, and also scored in the shootout.

Sombrowski was named the FortisBC Energy player of the game on Apr. 21, when Cranbrook beat Penticton 1-0. His three-goal week now gives him three points in 11 games this season as he starts to find his game with the Bucks.

Second Star — Jay Thomson

Thomson’s stellar week included picking up his second win of the season in Cranbrook’s 1-0 shootout victory over Penticton. It was the goaltender’s first career junior A shutout, in addition to being the first in Bucks history. He was named the game’s second star for his efforts in the shutout victory.

Thomson stopped 43 of the 46 shots he faced in two games last week. After his impressive last two outings, Thomson now owns a 2-3 record, a 3.43 goals-against-average, and a .867 save percentage this season. 

Third Star — Cameron Kungle

Kungle has been a strong leader this season for the Bucks, and it continued last week. Having already established himself as a consistent two-way defenseman, Kungle played a big role in Cranbrook’s recent success. He scored two goals in four contests and was the game’s third star on Apr. 19 against Trail.

Despite being one of the Bucks many rookies, Kungle is an alternate captain whose steady play leads by example. He now has three goals in 11 games this season and seems to control the ice whenever he is out there.

Honourable mentions

This week’s honourable mentions features one newcomer and one repeat performer.

Nathan Fox — Forward

Fox is another player who started to find his stride recently. In four games last week, he registered one goal and three points. He was named the FortisBC Energy player of the game in the Apr. 25 shootout loss to Trail. Fox now has two goals and five points in 11 games this season.

Nathan Airey — Goalie

For the second straight week, Airey receives an honourable mention for his performance. In two games against the Smoke Eaters, he stopped 55 of 63 shots faced.

Airey has continued to gain confidence and elevate his game as he has progressed this season. Still searching for his first BCHL win, Airey has improved to a 4.81 GAA and a .860 SV%.

Cranbrook will hope its goaltending tandem of Thomson and Airey continues to keep them in games while having different players step up and contribute each game.

A bit of a lighter schedule will also help the Bucks, as they play just three games In week four of the BCHL season.