KAMLOOPS — On a big night for the Kamloops Blazers Hockey Club, the current edition of the team went big on special teams in a 6-3 victory over the Seattle Thunderbirds Saturday night.
The game was also the club’s annual Teddy Bear Toss, the 26th edition of the event which originated in Kamloops back in 1993.
WATCH FULL HIGHLIGHTS & POST-GAME FROM BLAZERS HEAD COACH SERGE LAJOIE
Seattle opened the scoring just 1:26 into the first period as Tyler Carpendale knocked home a loose puck in front of Blazers netminder Dylan Garand.
In 2017 the Teddy Bear Goal was waved off as a result of a goaltender interference call. This year there would be no such controversy, as Zane Franklin fired home the first of the night for Kamloops after Luke Zazula's beautiful stretch pass off the boards to Orrin Centazzo sent the boys from Marwayne, AB in on a 2-on-1.
After a short delay to pick up all the stuffed animals, the Blazers kept the momentum rolling, as they took their first lead of the night on a power play goal from their Captain, Jermaine Loewen to take a 2-1 lead into the first intermission.
That energy seemed to carry over into the middle frame, as 17-year old defenceman Quinn Schmiemann scored his 2nd goal in as many nights and 3rd of the season to make it 3-1 Kamloops.
The Thunderbirds would hang around, and take advantage of some sloppy play in the Blazers defensive zone. Montana Onyebuchi turned the puck over to former Kamloops Storm forward Zack Andrusiak, who gave to a streaking Noah Philip. Philip would draw a pair of Blazer defenders before feeding a wide open Andrej Kukuca for his 7th of the year to make it a 3-2 game.
Shortly after that, Seattle would tie the game. On an offensive zone face-off win, the initial shot was blocked, but Nolan Volcan would knock the puck away from a pair of Blazer defenders before beating Garand with a nifty deke.
Luckily for the Blazers, Orrin Centazzo would answer — twice — both on the power play late in the 2nd period, to give Kamloops a 6-3 lead.
Kobe Mohr would add an empty net goal late in the 3rd to seal the victory for the Blazers, and send the Kamloops faithful home happy.
With Dylan Ferguson still injured, rookie goaltender Dylan Garand continued his strong play, stopping 26 of 29 shots faced in his second win of the weekend.
The Blazers host the Victoria Royals on Wednesday, December 5th in their final home game before the Christmas break, before heading out on a 6-game swing through Alberta.
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