Kamloops Blazers begin the year with a win

By Tim O'Donovan - Kamloops Blazers
January 1, 2016 - 5:03pm Updated: January 1, 2016 - 7:45pm

KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops Blazers (19-14-3-1) started the New Year with a bang, in a 4-1 win over the Victoria Royals (23-13-1-2). 

The first period featured some terrific hockey. The Royals had the early jump, but the Blazers responded with some great chances. 

Collin Shirley was robbed on an outstanding blocker save by Coleman Vollrath as the game was scoreless in the first 15 minutes. 

Shirley eventually opened the scoring with 3:27 left in the period. Matt Revel powered himself to the goal and put a shot off Vollrath's pad. Shirley was there to clean up the rebound for a 1-0 Blazers lead. 

The Royals tied the game with 52 seconds left in the period off a rush. Jack Walker deposited a pass from Tyler Soy to make it 1-1 through the first period. Shots were 14-14. 

The Blazers had a strong second period. Jermaine Loewen drove to the net on an individual rush. He scored, but the net was knocked off and Loewen was penalized on the play for goaltender interference. 

Loewen eventually got redemption with 6:55 to go in the period. He scored on a rebound for his fifth goal of the season and a 2-1 Blazers lead. 

Ryan Rehill added a goal on the power play. His blast was tipped by a Royals defender to give the Blazers a 3-1 lead through two periods. 

In the third period, the Blazers checked and defended well with the lead in the third period as the Royals could not generate any offense. 

Matt Revel added an empty net goal to make it a 4-1 final for the Blazers. 

Connor Ingram was his usual self for the Blazers with 29 saves, while Vollrath stopped 38 shots as the Blazers outshot the Royals 42-30 in the game. 

The Blazers were 1-for-3 on the power play and the Royals were 0-for-2. 

The Blazers close out the week with a game on Saturday night against the Everett Silvertips. Game time is 7:00pm.

'Tips beat Blazers in overtime