The Kamloops Blazers have finished the Western Hockey League pre-season schedule undefeated, with a 7-0 record and a stellar 41-13 goals for/goals against ratio.
The real season — the 2019-2010 WHL regular season — begins for Kamloops on Friday, Sept. 20, when the Spokane Chiefs visit Sandman Centre for a 7 p.m. game. Whether the sizzle of the exhibition slate carries into the regular season remains to be seen.
Kamloops capped off a perfect pre-season with a 3-2 shootout win in Kelowna on Saturday. Brodi Stuart scored in the ninth round of the shootout to secure the win. During regulation, Kamloops was paced by goals from Logan Staknoven — his league-leading 15th point of the pre-season — and Orrin Centazzo.
Rayce Ramsay was in goal through two periods, surrendering two goals on 21 shots, before leaving the game following a collision in the crease.
Dylan Garand succeeded Ramsay in net and saved all seven shots he faced in the third period and overtime before blanking the Rockets in the shootout.
The win in Kelowna followed a 6-1 Blazers’ victory over the Rockets on Friday in Kamloops.
The Blazers were once again led by Logan Stankoven, whose four points vaulted him to the top of the WHL scoring race.
In fact, the Blazers occupy the top three spots in league pre-season scoring, with Stankoven’s 15 points followed by Zane Franklin, with 12, and Orrin Centazzo, with 10.
Against Kelowna on Friday, Stankoven had two goals and two assists, while Kamloops was also paced by goals from Inaki Baragano, Josh Pillar, Connor Zary and Franklin. Kobe Mohr had two assists and Dylan Garand secured the win in net, enjoying a relatively quiet night as he faced 14 shots, while his Kelowna counterpart, James Porter, faced 42 shots.