Kamloops Blazers drop fourth straight as Portland sweeps two-game set

The Blue and Orange is back on home ice on Saturday as undefeated Victoria visits Sandman Centre. Game time is 7 p.m.

The Kamloops Blazers lost their fourth consecutive game on Friday night, dropping a 5-3 decision to the visiting Portland Winterhawks.

The Oregon team left Kamloops with two wins, with Friday’s victory following a 7-3 triumph on Wednesday at Sandman Centre.

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In Friday’s game, Kamloops forward Jermaine Loewen was handed a five-minute major and a game misconduct for checking t the head. Portland scored twice on the ensuing power play, with goals from Ryan Hughes and Joachim Blichfeld.

The Blazers battled back, however with two goals from Zane Franklin and another tally from Connor Zary giving Kamloops a 3-2 lead after two periods.

A shorthanded marker by Blichfeld 18 seconds into the final frame drew Portland even at 3-3, with Jake Gricius’s goal a minute later serving as the game-winner. The Winterhawks rounded out the scoring with Mason Mannek’s empty-net goal at 18:43 of the third period.

Shane Farkas stopped 22 of 25 shots in the Portland net to earn the victory, while Kamloops goaltender Dylan Ferguson turned aside 25 of 29 shots.

The loss dropped the Blazers to 2-4 on the season. The club sits fourth in the five-team B.C. Division of the Western Hockey League’s Western Division, ahead of the 1-6 Kelowna Rockets and chasing the Prince George Cougars (2-3-1), Vancouver Giants (1-5) and Victoria Royals (5-0).

Kamloops is back in action on Saturday night when Victoria visits Sandman Centre for a 7 p.m. puck drop. The Royals swept two games against the Blazers last weekend (3-2 and 6-3) and remain one of only two undefeated clubs in the 22-team WHL (Prince Albert is 7-0).

OVERTIME — Kamloops will be in Vancouver and Everett next weekend. The next home game is Friday, Oct. 19, against Swift Current. The game will feature Mark Recchi Hockey Hall of Fame Night, with all fans receiving a replica banner and special edition #8 jerseys worn by the Blazers during warm-up and auctioned off later . . . Portland defenceman John Ludvig, a Kamloops hockey product, notched an assist in Friday’s win … Fellow Kamloops product Ty Kolle was traded by the Winterhawks to Lethbridge on Thursday, between the two Kamloops-Portland games in the Tournament Capital. Lethbridge sent Portland a fifth-round pick in the 2019 WHL Bantam Draft . . . Calgary and Swift Current remain the only winless teams in the league . . .

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