November 16, 2012 (ISN) – The Kamloops Blazers (18-5-0-1) got back in the win column as they snapped the Portland Winterhawks (16-4-1-0) 12-game winning streak with a 6-4 home ice win. The Blazers were led by the line of Colin Smith, JC Lipon and Tim Bozon who combined for 14 points in the victory as Smith and Lipon each had five-point nights.
The Blazers opened the scoring 52 seconds into the game as a tic-tac-toe play with Lipon giving it to Smith who fed Bozon for the gaping net and a 1-0 lead. The Winterhawks replied playing 4-on-4 as Taylor Leier’s shot was stopped by goaltender Cole Cheveldave, but Taylor Peters pounded home the rebound to tie it at 1-1. The Blazers replied with a power play marker at 14:05. Brendan Ranford was patient and slid a puck five-hole to make it 2-1 for the Blazers. The Blazers scored another goal with 3:14 to play in the period as Tim Bozon was patient and went around the net before feeding Tyler Hansen who tallied his second goal of the season to give the Blazers a 3-1 first period lead.
With two highly skilled teams, no lead is safe. The Winterhawks got back into the game on a turnover as Brendan Leipsic was patient and fed Nic Petan for an open net and cut the lead to 3-2 8:04 into the period. Leipsic evened the score with 4:15 left in the period as he created a turnover and his pass deflected off a Blazer defender and through Cheveldave to tie it up at 3-3. The Blazers regained the lead on another tic-tac-toe play as Bozon fed Smith who gave it to Lipon for an open net to make it 4-3 with 2:47 left in the period.
The Blazers extended their lead in the third period. JC Lipon made a great play to the trailer and Colin Smith roofed it over the shoulder of Mac Carruth to give the Blazers a 5-3 lead 3:57 into the period. The Winterhawks wouldn’t go away as they got back into it with a similar goal. Leipsic hit Troy Rutkowski who made no mistake putting home his fifth of the season with 14:39 to play in the game. The Winterhawks had their chances, but Cole Cheveldave was solid turning aside both Taylor Peters and Ty Rattie on breakaways in the late stages of the game. The Blazers added an empty net goal as Smith and Lipon created a turnover with Lipon finishing it to make it a 6-4 final.
Colin Smith had a goal and four assists, JC Lipon had two goals and three assists, Tim Bozon had a goal and three assists and defenseman Tyler Hansen had a goal and an assist in the victory.
Brendan Ranford of the Blazers and Troy Rutkowski of the Winterhawks each played their 300 WHL regular season game. Ranford and Rutkowski have both suited up for only the Blazers and Winterhawks in their WHL careers and each player scored a goal tonight.
Cole Cheveldave earned his 13th victory of the season with 30 saves. Mac Carruth suffered his first loss the season allowing five goals on 22 shots. The Blazers were 1-for-3 on the power play while the Winterhawks were 0-for-3.