Blazers beat Cougars to close out 2018

By Adam Donnelly
December 30, 2018 - 8:19pm Updated: December 30, 2018 - 9:53pm

KAMLOOPS — It won’t go down as one of the prettiest wins of 2018, but when you’re playing your third divisional game in three nights against a team you’re ahead of in the standings, you’ll take the two points.

The Kamloops Blazers never trailed against the Prince George Cougars Sunday at the Sandman Centre, as they won 2-1 in their final game of 2018.

“I’ve told myself I’m not going to critique a win,” Blazers Head Coach Serge Lajoie said after the game. “I’m not going to critique two points. That’s four points of a possible six against divisional opponents, so [it was] a good weekend for us to close out the 2018 calendar year.”

Montana Onyebuchi opened the scoring late in the first period for the Blazers. Onyebuchi took a pass from Carson Denomie, stepped around his man then fired a seeing-eye wrister through traffic that beat Prince George starter Taylor Gauthier to make it 1-0 Kamloops.

Brodi Stuart made it 2-0 for Kamloops almost halfway through the second period on a one-timer set up by Zane Franklin.

The Cougars made a change in net to start the third period, as Isaiah DiLaura took Gauthier’s spot between the pipes. The change seemed to spark the Cougars, who fired 19 shots at Blazers netminder Dylan Garand in the final frame.

Prince George made it interesting late in the third period. With Franklin in the box for tripping, big Josh Maser found a rebound in front of Garand and buried the loose puck to get the Cougars on the board.

The Cats pulled DiLaura with 1:21 left to play, but couldn’t slip a second goal past Garand. The Kamloops goaltender stopped 35 of 36 shots he faced in the contest, while Gauthier and DiLaura combined to make 24 saves on 26 shots in the loss

The Blazers next see action against the Chiefs on Friday, January 4th in Spokane, before heading back to the Sandman Centre on January 5th where they host the Kelowna Rockets.

WATCH POST-GAME COMMENTS FROM BLAZERS HEAD COACH SERGE LAJOIE

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