November 2, 2012, Prince George, BC – The Kamloops Blazers (17-1-0-1) rebounded from last night’s loss with a 2-1 shootout win over the Prince George Cougars (7-7-1-1) on Friday night.
The Blazers had a gutsy effort in their sixth game in eight nights and were led by Matt Needham’s tieing goal in the third period and shootout goals by Brendan Ranford and Cole Ully. Cole Cheveldave stopped 26 shots and both shooters in the shootout.
In the first period, the Blazers were the better team. They seemed to have the puck on their sticks for most of the period and did not give up a scoring chance in the period. On the offensive side, the Blazers generated chances but couldn’t get one by goaltender Mac Engel. The Blazers had a power play towards the end of the period and created some terrific chances but failed to score. Cole Ully shot a puck at the net from the goal line that went through the crease, hit the post and stayed out. The Blazers held the advantage on the shot clock 9-4 in the period.
The Cougars came to life in the second period and generated some scoring chances. Marc McNulty would get the Cougars on the scoreboard 1:15 into the period. He put home a rebound off a shot from Troy Bourke to give the Cougars a 1-0 lead. The Blazers struggled in the period and failed to generate many chances. The Cougars outshot the Blazers 9-6 in the period.
The Blazers came back to life in the third period and were pushing to even up the score. The Blazers evened it up 1:36 into the period as Tyler Hansen’s point shot was eventually put home by 17-year-old Matt Needham to make it 1-1. Both teams generated chances in the period but were unable to beat both goaltenders. The game eventually went to overtime, and the Blazers suffered a big blow. Forward Dylan Willick was run over in front of the Blazers’ net and went down awkardly. He left the game and did not return.
The Blazers took it down in a shootout as Brendan Ranford and Cole Ully each scored and Zach Pochiro and Colin Jacobs were stopped by goaltender Cole Cheveldave as the Blazers won 2-1.
The Blazers completed a stretch of six games in eight nights going 5-1-0-0 in the process. The win improved the Blazers record to 17-1-0-1 on the season which is 11 points ahead of any other team in the WHL.
The hockey club is back on home ice on Tuesday, November 6th against the defending WHL Champion Edmonton Oil Kings.