KAMLOOPS — It was a scenario countless hockey players have fantasized about.
With under two minutes to play and the game tied at three, Orrin Centazzo burst out of the defensive end and towards a loose puck, only to be dragged down by a pair of Kelowna Rockets. The referee’s arm shot up, he blew the whistle and pointed to centre ice - a penalty shot.
“Just get a good shot on net, if anything,” Centazzo said of his mindset heading into the penalty shot. “I asked around on the bench and our backup goalie, Dylan Garand, he gave me kind of the lay-down on what to do.”
Centazzo skated in on Rockets netminder Roman Basran deliberately, weaving his way across the blue line before a forehand fake and backhand finish for his second goal of the game put the Blazers up 4-3. The victory gives the Blazers two wins in three tries in the last week over the Rockets who are currently five points ahead of Kamloops in the WHL’s BC Division.
“Points against divisional rivals are important, they’re four-point games,” Blazers head Coach Serge Lajoie said after the win. “For us to get two clean points without having to give up any, you know, without having to go into OT or a shootout is really… they were important points for us.”
The Rockets opened the scoring just 47 seconds into the contest, as Kyle Topping banged a rebound past Blazers goaltender Dylan Ferguson.
The Blazers would answer in the final minute of the first on Centazzo’s first of the game, before taking the lead early in the second on Martin Lang’s 7th of the year on the power play.
The Rockets would respond with a pair before the end of the middle stanza. Nolan Foote would get a power play goal of his own before Leif Mattson put the Rockets ahead heading into the second intermission.
The Blazers found another gear in the third period, firing 12 shots at Basran. They’d tie it just after the halfway point, as Josh Pillar would notch his fifth of the year on the man advantage before Centazzo put it away on the penalty shot.
Ferguson was solid for Kamloops, stopping 23 of 26 pucks sent his way. Basran made 28 saves on 32 shots in a losing effort.
The Blazers jumped on their bus immediately after the game to head to Everett, as they take on the Silvertips Sunday night to cap off a busy weekend.
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