Blazers beat Rockets, keep playoff hopes alive

By Adam Donnelly
March 10, 2019 - 9:58am Updated: March 11, 2019 - 5:59pm

KELOWNA — The Kamloops Blazers hopes for a berth in the WHL Playoffs lives after they defeated the Rockets in thrilling fashion Saturday night in Kelowna.

Kamloops opened the scoring the six-minute mark of the second period, as Josh Pillar created a turnover deep in the offensive end and set up Kyrell Sopotyk for his 11th goal of the season.

Kelowna tied the game 7 minutes later, as Kyle Topping picked banged a rebound past Blazers netminder Dylan Garand for the equalizer.

The score remained tied until 9:01 of the third period. Connor Zary picked up a loose puck at the side of the net and made a nifty pass to Jermaine Loewen who rifled the puck past Roman Basran to give the Blazers the lead.

Garand did the rest, as he stopped 27 of 28 shots faced, including several tough ones late in the third, when Kelowna pulled their goalie for the extra attacker.

Seattle were also winners Saturday, which means they remain seven points ahead of the Blazers in the Western Conference Wildcard race, but the win over the Rockets puts Kamloops just four points back of Kelowna for third place in the BC Division.

The Rockets have three games left on their schedule; one against Spokane, and two against Vancouver.

Kamloops has four games left to play; one against Victoria, one against the Chiefs, and a pair of contests versus the Prince George Cougars.

Blazers close in on playoff spot with win over Spokane