Young Blazers experience 'wake-up call' in two losses to Kelowna

By Chad Klassen
September 25, 2017 - 5:06pm Updated: September 25, 2017 - 6:08pm

KAMLOOPS — It wasn't the showing the Blazers nor their fans were hoping for on opening weekend, outscored 11-3 and dominated by Kelowna rivals. 

"We weren't very good," said head coach Don Hay on the two-game series. "We didn't do a good job checking. We have to be better checking. So this week we'll really focus on that. I thought we were good enough in exhibition, but once it went up in the regular season we weren't good enough."

It took only 3:25 into the season on Friday for the Rockets to score, and the goals kept coming, including four in the third period to build Kelowna a 6-0. The Blazers didn't score their first goals of the year until the third period. 

"We do have some inexperience out there," said Blazers forward Garrett Pilon. "It's the first game for a lot of guys, so maybe you don't take that into account too much. It could be a factor in that. But I don't think that impacted the game to an extent."

In Saturday's home-opener, hoping for a bounce back, the Blazers kept the score close at 1-1 after the second period. But Kelowna broke the game open with four in the third to win 5-1, a definitely learning experience for this young team. 

"Tied at one on Saturday going into the third. They outplayed us," said Pilon. "It's really a learning thing for us. First two games of the season. It's either going to go good for us or it's going to go bad."

It went bad for the Blazers, and starting netminder Dylan Ferguson said it was an eye-opener for the whole team.

"I think everyone had that wake-up call both games," he said. "I know I did myself. We are a young team."

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