Blazers Nip Rockets 3-2


September 23, 2012, Kelowna, BC (ISN) – The Kamloops Blazers played a solid game and erased a 2-0 third period deficit to win 3-2 in Kelowna on Saturday night.

The Rockets opened the scoring in the first period as Zach Franko got a friendly bounce from the linesman and fired a shot in alone to make it 1-0 Rockets. The Blazers had their chances in the period but goaltender Jordan Cooke was up to the task. The Rockets outshot the Blazers 13-5 with most of the Rockets shots coming from far out.

In the second period, the Rockets took a 2-0 lead. A point shot was tipped by defenseman Tyler Hansen and Rockets forward Filip Vasko and found its way past goaltender Taran Kozun. Although the Rockets held a 2-0 lead, the Blazers continued to get stronger throughout the game. Jordon Cooke was terrific in the period making a few tremendous saves to perserve the lead. The Blazers had a scare with 1:50 remaining in the period as Tyler Hansen was hit awkwardly and he had to be taken off on a stretcher. Hansen was taken to the hospital and is being evaluated.

The Blazers, like they have done so often lately, mounted a third period comeback. 20-year-old Dylan Willick got the Blazers on the board at 5:23 of the period as he found his own rebound to solve Cooke and make it 2-1. Brendan Ranford tied the game up going in on a partial breakaway and firing a shot under Cooke to make it 2-2 with just over 10 minutes to play. The Blazers continued to press in the period and were rewarded with a power play with just over two minutes remaining. Colin Smith found Matt Needham in front of the net and he chipped in his second goal of the season to make it 3-2 with 33 seconds left. The Rockets couldn’t generate anything in the final 33 seconds and the Blazers went on for a 3-2 win.

The Blazers outshot the Rockets 14-4 in the period and 30-29 overall in the game. The Blazers were 1-for-2 on the power play and 1-for-1 on the penalty kill. Taran Kozun, who was playing in place of the injured Cole Cheveldave, was terrific in goal making 27 saves for the victory.

The Blazers move to 2-0-0-0 in the regular season and will play next in Victoria on Friday, September 28th at 7:00pm and Sunday September 30th at 1:00pm. The Blazers return home to face the Seattle Thunderbirds on Friday, October 5th.

Christian J. Stewart
Christian is a professional photographer and media professional based in Victoria, British Columbia, Canada. Currently working as the Assistant General Manager for Victoria HarbourCats Baseball Club, a Senior Contributing Editor and photographer at Independent Sports News (ISN) and operating his own freelance photography and media/pr company.