KAMLOOPS, BC - A first period let down by the visitors powered the Kamloops Blazers to a 7-1 victory over the struggling Lethbridge Hurricanes Wednesday night.
A disaster of a first period for the Lethbridge Hurricanes. The Kamloops Blazers opened the scoring in this game with a pair of goals in a span of just 14 seconds. Tyson Ness got things going when his shot beat Canes goaltender Jarrod Schamerhorn. That made it 1-0 Kamloops. Right off the face-off at centre ice the Blazers came down the ice and scored on their next shot when Cole Ully found the back of the net. That made it 2-0 Blazers. Just over three minutes later, Kamloops got another. This time Chase Souto was left alone in front of the net and buried it by Schamerhorn to give Kamloops a big 3-0 lead. That was it for Schamerhorn. He was pulled in favour Jonny Hogue. Not too long after that, the Blazers were given a power play and they made good when Sam Grist's point shot was tipped by Matt Revel. That goal put the home team ahead 4-0 after 20 minutes of play. Schamerhorn surrendered 3 goals on just 7 shots. Lethbridge out shot Kamloops 12-11.
In the second, things settled down, at least on the offence side of things. There were three fights in the period. As for scoring, there was nothing in this period. The Hurricanes best chance came when Jamal Watson was sprung free on a shorthanded breakaway, but he rung the shot off the post and out. Kamloops managed to keep the Canes off the shore sheet in the second period. Lethbridge held a slight edge in shots at 23-22.
In the third, the Hurricanes finally got on the board when Giorgio Estephan tipped home his 9th goal of the season on a Lethbridge power play. That cut the Kamloops lead to 4-1. That didn't last long. Just 11 seconds later, Kamloops forward Tyson Ness moved in off the face-off at centre ice and scored his second of the game to make 5-1 Blazers. Kamloops wasn't done there. They'd keep the offence coming. Collin Shirley lit the red light, beating Jonny Hogue to make it 6-1 Kamloops and before it was said and done Chase Souto scored his second of the game and that would be the end as the Blazers would skate away with a lop-sided 7-1 victory. The Hurricanes went 1/3 on the power play and Kamloops finished the game 1/3. The Blazers out shot the Canes 38-31. The loss drops the Hurricanes overall record to 9-36-2-3 in 50 games this season.
The Hurricanes will get a much needed day off Thursday before two very tough games to conclude this BC road trip. The Canes will play a very improved Vancouver Giants team on Friday (Jan. 24) at Pacific Coliseum. The Giants, after finishing the season last year with the worst overall record and then scoring the first overall pick in the WHL Bantam draft in May, are back in the playoff picture in the West less than pne year later. The Giants have 6 wins in their last 10 games and are a well over .500 hockey club. This is the first of two meetings this season between Lethbridge and Vancouver. The Giants will make the return trip to southern Alberta February 17th. Game time Friday in 8:30 pm MST. The pre-game show on CJOC at 8:00.