Blazers overcome two-goal deficit to earn valuable point against Giants

By Chad Klassen
January 30, 2019 - 10:16pm Updated: January 31, 2019 - 12:40am

KAMLOOPS --- When Davis Koch scored 8:32 into the third period to put the Giants ahead 2-0 on Wednesday night, it didn't look like the Blazers had the muster to come back. 

But like they've done all season, the Boys in Blue overcame a string of penalties to even the score and earn a point before losing 3-2 in overtime to the best team in the B.C. Division. 

"It shows the character in the dressing room, the resolve, never-say-die type of attitude," said Blazers head coach Serge Lajoie after the game. "I know we had some players who provided some energy for us and I thought when we were killing a penalty and needed a spark, I put [Connor] Zary and [Logan] Stankoven out there and you saw what speed can do...that last penalty kill really started to give us energy."

HIGHLIGHTS: Blazers fall 3-2 in overtime to Vancouver

The Blazers were killing off Zane Franklin's hooking minor in the third period, and by the time he came out of the penalty box he was on a breakaway, scoring his 24th goal of the year to cut the lead to 2-1 with 6:23 to play. 

"That's every players' dream situation. Take a penalty, you want to get the breakaway out of the box," said Franklin. "Obviously, I wasn't too excited about the penalty, but the outcome of that was not bad."

Franklin then assisted on the game-tying goal 1:13 later with the Blazers on the power play. His point shot bounced around in front and ended up on the stick of Orrin Centazzo who scored his 12th of the season to tie the game.

POST GAME: Serge Lajoie addresses comeback to earn point in 3-2 OT loss

While the 15-year-old call-up Stankoven didn't register a point in the loss, he made an impact on the game and wound up as the third star, moving from the fourth line at the beginning of the game to the second line by the end of the second period. Stankoven drew a penalty before Franklin's breakaway goal and had lots of chemistry with Zary and Jermaine Loewen. 

"They're two different players [Zary and Loewen]. They both bring a different piece to the game. Mainer [Loewen] is a good player that takes the puck to the net and you've just got to have a bit of everything," he said about playing with those two guys. "Coming in as a 15 year old, you don't expect a lot. You're just there, and if your name's called your out there. I was really surprised to get out there [in overtime]. You've got to keep that in perspective and work for it."

POST GAME: Logan Stankoven talks about getting more ice time

Following his third WHL game, Stankoven already has the full confidence of his coach. 

"He's earned my trust," said Lajoie. "He played everywhere. I was just trying to give him some ice time and just wanted to put him with different players to settle the nerves down. I don't know if there were any nerves. He pressures pucks, he makes plays."

Stankoven started the overtime as the Blazers tried to carry the momentum in the extra frame, but just 33 seconds in top prospect Bowen Byram ended any hopes of a comeback, scoring the OT winner to lift the visitors to the win. 

POST GAME: Zane Franklin talks about scoring after taking a penalty

Kamloops earned a valuable point in the race for the final wildcard spot in the Western Conference. Seattle defeated Kelowna in overtime on Wednesday night and now lead by two points over the Blazers, who are also three points behind the Rockets for third in the division. 

The Blazers host Prince George at home on Friday night. 

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