KAMLOOPS — The Kamloops Blazers didn’t let a bizarre own goal deflate them, as they overcame a pair of deficits to beat the Kelowna Rockets in overtime Friday night at the Sandman Centre.
With a delayed man advantage coming to the Blazers Max Palaga had vacated the Blazers goal for the extra attacker. Connor Zary broke into the Rockets zone with speed and fired a hard wrister over the Rockets goal that ended up ricocheting off the glass and sliding all the way down into his team’s net.
Kelowna would add another before the end of the first period, to lead 2-0 after 20 minutes of play.
The Blazers would battle back early in the 2nd period when Brodi Stuart would find a rebound off Roman Basran’s pad and bury his second goal of the preseason.
Then Connor Zary would atone for his unfortunate bounce to even the score at two, swatting a bouncing puck past James Porter, who replaced Basran alway through the 2nd.
But the Rockets would retake the lead with just 10 seconds remaining the middle frame, as Leif Mattson would bat a puck out of midair right to Nolan Foote who would bang it past Palaga to put the Rockets ahead.
That lead lasted less than 5 minutes, as Stuart would score his 2nd of the game on a nice feed from Orrin Centazzo on the 3-on-1 rush.
The score would remain tied through three complete periods, sending the game into 3-on-3 overtime, where Nolan Kneen would finish it off on a cross-crease pass from off-season acquisition Zane Franklin.
The Blazers beat the Rockets 4-3 in OT, with the rematch going Saturday night in Kelowna.
The Blazers will host the Rockets on September 21st to open up the WHL regular season at the Sandman Centre.
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