Wednesday, 23 February 2011

Blazers Hold On For 5-4 Overtime Win Over Canes'

LETHBRIDGE - The Kamloops Blazers blew a three-goal third period lead, but held on for a 5-4 overtime win over the Hurricanes Wednesday at the ENMAX Centre.

The visitors opened the scoring in this hockey game. With 6:50 remaining in the opening period, Colin Smith sent a blind pass from behind the Hurricanes goal and Thomas Frazee beat Brandon Anderson to give the Kamloops Blazers a 1-0 lead. That would be the only offence in the opening 20 minutes of this game. It was a pretty slow start to this game for Lethbridge. They didn't have much jump coming off that big win over Red Deer on Monday. The Blazers out shot the Canes' 11-5 in the first period.

In the second, the Blazers would go up by a pair early. Dalibor Bortnak let a quick shot go on a Kamloops power play, it deflected off a Lethbridge skate and past Anderson. That gave the Blazers a 2-0 lead. Bortnak wasn't done there. A few minutes later and just after a Lethbridge power play had come to an end, Bortnak picked up a bouncing puck at centre ice, got behind the Canes' defence and put a shot into the top corner to make it 3-0 Kamloops. After the half-way point in the period, the Hurricanes would finally get one on the scoreboard. Brody Sutter picked up a lose puck in front of the Blazers net and fired a shot by Jeff Bosch for his 11th goal of the season. That cut the Kamloops lead to 3-1. The Hurricanes continued to come hard at the Blazers for the rest of period, but that's way things would end. Kamloops took a two-goal lead into the dressing room. After 40 minutes, the shots were even at 19-19.

In the third, the Blazers would get their three-goal lead back again. Early in the period, Brady Gaudet let a wrist shot go from the Canes' blueline, beating a screened Brandon Anderson to give Kamloops a commanding 4-1 lead. The Hurricanes though would push for a big third period come back again. First it was Graham Hood who fired a shot by Bosch for his 9th goal of the season to make the score 4-2 Kamloops and shortly after that, the Hurricanes would get one more, this time short-handed when Brody Sutter scored his second of the night and 12th of the season. That made it a one-goal game going into the final 8 minutes of the period. The Canes' would complete the third period rally with yet another short-handed goal. This time it would be Jacob Berglund who would score for Lethbridge, as the Canes' erased a 4-2 deficit to tie the game a 4-4. For the Swede, that would be his 14th goal of year. That goal would earn the Hurricanes at least a single point as the game would head into overtime to decide a winner.

This would be the 4th straight time the Canes' would head into overtime over the last week and 21st time overall this season. Early in the extra frame, the Blazers would put this game away. Jordan DePape took a feed in front of the Lethbridge goal and blasted a shot off the crossbar and in to give the Kamloops Blazers a 5-4 win and with that the big extra point that was up for grabs in extra session. Kamloops out shot the Hurricanes 33-28. The power plays looked like this: Kamloops went 1 for 4 and Lethbridge went 0 for 5 and also managed two short-handed goals.

The Hurricanes earned a single point and move to within two points of the 8th and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Canes' power play had numerous chances to score in the third period, including a four minute power play, but were unable to score. The penalty kill did a great job for Lethbridge on the night, scoring twice while down a man. The Canes' surely wanted the two points, but they certainly earned the single. The Hurricanes record after 61 games sits at 20-28-5-8 for 53 points.


The Hurricanes will close out this four-game home stand Friday when they play host to the Edmonton Oil Kings. This will be the first of a home-and-away set this weekend between the two teams. Lethbridge will travel to Rexall Place for the rematch on Saturday. After the Friday game, the Hurricanes will head on the road for their next four games, including the one in Edmonton. Next week, Lethbridge will travel into B.C. They will play in Chilliwack Wednesday (Mar. 2), Kamloops on Friday (Mar. 4), and in Kelowna Saturday (Mar. 5) before returning returning home. Lethbridge will play it's first home game in March on Wednesday, March 9th when they play host to Moose Jaw.


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  1. Good to get a point I guess, it was kind of a funny game. We were flat in the first, how they come out flat in such an important game is beyond me. Everyone was terrible in the first. I was really expecting the top line (16,14,19) to come out and dominate the 2nd and 3rd but Braes and Fyten were nearly invisible all night. Luckily Sutter stepped up and dominated for the most part in the 2nd and 3rd... He looked like a man amongst boys on some shifts. Nice to see him pot not 1, but 2 goals. On another note, nice to see Hood getting some confidence back, I like him with the Maxwell's. The 3 work well together! Can't wait tell Friday! Biggest weekend of the year! Go Canes Go!

  2. It's often tough to come out after such an emotional win in your previous game. Especially over a division rival/top team.

    Tonight, I think once the Canes realized they were being outplayed, they stepped it up and took over the play.

    One point in the standings was then earned but it would have definately been two if the PP had any life. But hey, at least the Canes got those 2 SH goals and won the special teams battle for a change. They are showing some great team discipline lately!

  3. The refs in this league are a joke. I hate to blame and complain about the officiating, but Braes gets 2 for un sportsman like conduct for dropping his gloves when Frazee wont fight him (after faking an injury), then the next period after the Ross hit (Smith also deserves an Oscar nod for his near death experience on the ice) #22 drops his gloves to fight then Gaudet (sorry if the names are a little off, going by memory) comes in and fights for him. 22 was on the bench with no gloves on and the refs ignore it and we go a man down for 3 minutes? They had to bring him his gloves to the freaking bench and he gets nothing! Things like this are part of the reason that fans stay away. Not the main reason, but it is frustrating when the same act goes unpunished and the game turns into a joke. In the Breas case a fight never even happened. When the Gaudet fight happened where was the 3rd man in rule. Both players had dropped their gloves and a 3rd player comes in and takes over the fight. Sounds like the definition of 3rd man in. Too bad the canes do not have a strong owner who can take the league to task on issues like this. On a side not Rich please quit wasting time outs. You called one early for no reason and then get scored on.
    Good comeback canes. Finally showing us some heart and tenacity! Heres to Rich's guarantee coming true. Just wondering if Rich is riding Anderson to try and save some face (and his job) since Tait will likely not be back next season. It seems like desperation to me.


  4. Hockey is a game of mistakes. Mistakes led to the first goal of the game and the last goal of the game for Kamloops. A horrible give-away by Ryckman behind his own net led to the first goal, and a mess up at the Blazer's blue line led to the overtime goal. I do not understand why people continue to sing the praises of #2. He is soft with the puck; makes bad decisions with the puck more often then not; and loses more battles along the boards. He is more of a liability than an asset.

    Power play stinks....absolutely no imagination/creativity. Other teams seem to be able to set up right away and get their powerplay working. That 4 minute power play was a joke!

    Speaking of jokes, what the heck were the refs thinking of on that 5 minute major for interference. I have never heard of such a call. It also took them over 6 minutes to make the call, which tells me that they were trying to finger out some sort of call. They totally missed the charging call on Frazee as he came a long way to hit Fyten.

    Yes the Canes have shown some heart in their last 4 games, but they left their hearts in the dressing room for the first 2 periods.

    As for Rich calling an early time out, I believe he did it because the 4th line had been out for two straight icing calls and he was trying to give them a rest, unfortunately they were out against Kamloops top line.

    Making the playoffs still looks like a very tough task despite being only 2 back of PA. The Raiders have a much easier schedule with 5 of their games against SC-3, Reg and Calgary. Hurricanes have a much tougher schedule including a 3 game stint in BC.

    But as long as they go out playing their best, that is all one can ask, along with a few breaks their way here and there.


  5. Pat do you have any information on the fan bus to calgary?

  6. WOW! Down 4-1, then scoring TWO short-handed goals and controlling the play in the last five minutes of the game (much while short-handed) to take it to OT to earn a point! NICE effort, good result!
    That was FUN!

    Unlike the well-played game against Red Deer, the Canes made some mistakes that cost them goals (and the win) in this one, but how cool was it when the Canes best players decided they would not be denied a point!

    Sutter is definitely starting to deliver up to the level of his ability! Unfortunately Kamloops made sure that Fyten wasn't going to be a difference-maker in this one, but where was Braes? Here is a kid with more goal-scoring skill than 95% of the league that hasn't had a point or a plus game in the last five. If he is playing with an injury, then good for him. If not, then sorry, not good enough, Braes.

    Canes need to do whatever it takes to take ALL FOUR points from Edmonton this weekend, and then to take two more from Edmonton on the Ides of March.
    - Richie.

  7. By this time in the season ALL of the regulars are playing with injuries. The human body was not designed to take the sort of punishment and wear and tear of professional hockey. Nagging bruises, sprains, muscle tears and the like cannot heal under these conditions. And there is mental fatigue by now going along with the physical pain.

    Of course the same goes for every player in the league, not just the Hurricanes. Everyone is battling to work through their own particular difficulties, on the ice and off.

    I doubt if it helps to be reminded of mistakes and to be called out if your goal production slips for a few games. But I guess having those sorts of comments made about you by clueless fans is another form of injury that you have to learn to accept if you are going to play at this level. Sad though.

  8. Fan Bus to Calgary
    $30 includes ticket and bus trip. 18+ as the bus is fully licensed.

    I believe the contact is Al at Scores South.

    They had noticed plastered all over the men's washrooms at the game the other night.


  9. Well Said Tom. Finally some real brilliance. Thank you

  10. This has become such a joke the way the fans are made the bad guy so often. The poor kids! *eyes roll*
    I work my butt off for about 80k a year. I paid my way through school and graduated with a diploma and a degree after six and a half years. No scholarships. Just heavy debt to begin my career.
    These kids either go to school on a free ride after the WHL or else play a game for a living. If they are good enough to make the show or at least sign a contract they have a winning lottery ticket to live like a king and retire rich at about 40!
    Poor buggers can't handle a few fan forum comments? Get Real!
    They are pampered prima donnas. We've all been in high school with them at one time and know this is true.
    I find this all so amusing the way the second worse team in the WHL is defended. Poor little kids...go get a hug from the best looking girls in your school. Life's tough. Get some thicker skin.
    ...And parents just continue to live through your kids.

  11. Would you like a bottle after that sob story!!!

  12. Such a sad story. How does one make it in this world on a measley 80k? All those problems and yet still so much insight into the players and their future.

  13. I don't know, Tom, you might be the clueless fan. Not all players have injuries influencing their abilities to play or compete.

    Don't kid yourself, it can make a positive impact on performance when your players are called out for coasting or not giving full effort. It is more of a compliment than an insult to a player when you tell him he is better than he is showing. At least two things make a person even better at their work; an award for outstanding achievement, and a comment that you have unattained potential.

    It is more of a disservice to these aspiring players when their fans and coaches accept mediocre effort. Safe to say that most of these kids have varying levels of desire to play in the NHL (BTW: I think you could make a much better blog post if you tried harder).