Tim O’Donovan
December 1, 2012 (ISN) – Chase Souto electrified the crowd with a second period tilt and the game winning goal in the final minute of play to lift the Blazers (21-6-1-1) to a 3-2 home ice victory over the Tri-City Americans (16-10-1-1). Colin Smith of the Blazers recorded a goal and an assist and is now tied with teammate JC Lipon with 54 points on the season which is tops in the WHL.

The Blazers started off well, but didn’t score as 17-year-old Eric Comrie was good in the early going. As the period carried on, the Americans seemed to take over the play and scored on a defensive zone breakdown. Beau McCue pounced a loose puck in the slot and beat goaltender Cole Cheveldave for his fifth goal of the season. The Americans outshot the Blazers 13-12 in the period and led 1-0.

In the second period, the Blazers got back to their game and were rewarded early. Sam Grist got a shot on goal while Colin Smith and JC Lipon poked away with Lipon potting his WHL leading 22nd goal of the season to tie the game up at 1-1. Colin Smith gave the Blazers the lead at 8:56 of the period as Smith found a rebound from a shot by Tyler Hansen to make it 2-1 Blazers. The period was highlighted by a second period fight as Jesse Mychan and Chase Souto dropped the gloves for a spirited bout. The Blazers outshot the Americans 13-10 in the period.

The third period was going as planned with the Blazers getting pucks deep into the Americans zone and limiting the shots and chances on goal. The Americans got a break with just over five minutes to go as Malte Stromwall fed a nice pass to Parker Bowles who was in alone and slid it five-hole to tie the game at 2-2 with 5:03 to play in the game. Chase Souto, who was arguably one of the Blazers best forwards all night, didn’t let the game go to overtime. A defensive zone faceoff in the last minute turned into an offensive rush with Matt Needham and Chase Souto storming out of the Blazers zone with the puck. Needham entered the Americans zone and fed Souto in alone. Souto went to his backhand up high and buried his fourth goal of the season with 37 seconds left to win it for the Blazers.

With the victory, the Blazers earned their 21st win of the season and lead the WHL’s overall standings with 44 points. Cole Cheveldave was solid in goal earning his 16th win of the season with 26 saves.

The Blazers close out their seven game home stand tonight as they host the Moose Jaw Warriors. Tomorrow night is Teddy Bear Night, so make sure to bring your teddy bears to the rink.

The hockey club is also shooting for a SELL OUT! If the Blazers SELL OUT Saturday night with 5,464 fans, the Blazers will donate $5,464 to Christmas Amalgamated which helps local families in need during the Christmas season.