KAMLOOPS — It’s not quite the penthouse, but with a 4-3 victory over the Prince George Cougars on Saturday night at the Sandman Centre, the Kamloops Blazers are officially out of the outhouse, at least for the time being.
Kamloops scored twice in the opening frame. Luc Smith scored a power-play goal, shovelling the Jermaine Loewen centring pass past Cougars netminder Tavin Grant.
Then Garrett Pilon would pick up his fourth goal of the weekend, as he won a race for the puck and slid one between Grant’s pads for a shorthanded goal, giving Kamloops a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
But the Cougars would battle back. After a bad giveaway in the neutral zone, Prince George would break in 3-on-2, with Josh Curtis finding the loose puck and shovelling it over a sprawling Dylan Ferguson.
Then just a couple of minutes later, Dennis Cholowski would jump into the rush and tip a puck past Ferguson to tie things up.
The score would remain even until Quinn Benjafield scored at the 13:47 mark of the third period to give the Blazers a 3-2 lead.
Brodi Stuart would add the insurance marker with 36 seconds remaining, and the Blazers would be happy they took out that policy. With just 7 seconds left on the clock, Liam Ryan would fire a long shot off the pad of Ferguson, and Chance Adrian would be there to shovel home his first of the year for the Cougars to make it 4-3, but it would be too late for Prince George.
The Blazers have won 11 of their last 15 games, and now have 22 points on the season, the same as Prince George; because the Blazers have more regulation wins, they now sit one spot ahead of the Cougars in the BC Division, in 4th place.
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