Tim Bozon (right) went post and in on Friday, Sept. 21, at Interior Savings Centre, giving the Kamloops Blazers a 6-5 victory over the Kelowna Rockets in WHL play. Kamloops pushed its record to 2-0 with a win over Kelowna in the Little Apple on Saturday, Sept. 22.
Kamloops sweeps Kelowna, remain undefeated to start season
By Marty Hastings - Kamloops This Week
Published: September 24, 2012 4:00 PM
Updated: September 24, 2012 4:48 PM
The Kamloops Blazers have carried their pre-season form into the WHL’s regular season.
After posting a 5-0 mark in exhibition play, Kamloops — which topped the Kelowna Rockets twice on the weekend, winning 3-2 in the Little Apple on Saturday, Sept. 22, and 6-5 on Friday, Sept., 21, in the River City — is 2-0 in regular-season play.
The Blazers travel to Vancouver Island this weekend for a pair of games against the Victoria Royals.
Kamloops’ next game at Interior Savings Centre is set for Oct. 5, when Seattle comes to town.
The Blue and Orange erased a 2-0 deficit in the third period on Saturday.
Dylan Willick, Brendan Ranford and Matt Needham were Kamloops’ goal scorers.
Needham scored with 33 seconds to play to defuse the Rockets.
Taran Kozun, who started in place of injured No. 1 netminder Cole Cheveldave, made 27 saves in the victory.
In the home opener on Friday, Tim Bozon electrified with a game-winning goal in overtime.
“I tried twice before my goal to go coast-to-coast, but I got hooked,” said Bozon, who must have been reminded of playing in Switzerland with the open ice afforded to him in the four-on-four extra frame.
“I back-checked, got the puck and tried again for a third time.”
Third time was the charm. Bozon beat three Rockets and fired across his body, finding the inside of Kelowna goaltender Jordon Cooke’s left post and, eventually, the back of the net.
It was Bozon’s third goal of the game.
Needham, Colin Smith and Landon Cross also notched goals.
Cheveldave made 23 saves on 26 shots in two periods of work before Kozun took over and stopped nine of 11 pucks that came his way.
Injuries to Cheveldave and Tyler Bell put a damper on the win.
Cheveldave did not return to his net after the second period and Bell, a defenceman, left the game after being hit from behind late in the first frame.
Bell was favouring his right leg when he was escorted off the ice by Kamloops trainer Colin (Toledo) Robinson.
Cheveldave’s injury was less obvious. He was involved in a collision with Rockets’ captain Colton Sissons in the second period, but the netminder looked to be OK and finished the frame in net.
The scariest moment of the weekend came in Kelowna on Saturday, when stalwart blue-liner Tyler Hansen was taken off the ice on a stretcher after suffering an apparent neck injury.
He was taken to hospital, evaluated and released.
Cheveldave, Bell and Hansen are day-to-day, according to Blazer media man Tim O’Donovan.
Bell will play this weekend. The Blazers do not yet know if Cheveldave and Hansen will be in action on Vancouver Island.