Kamloops Blazers seeking first win of season in Portland

WHL club has opened the campaign with losses to Spokane and Seattle

The Kamloops Blazers will try to snap a two-game losing skid to open the season when they face the Portland Winterhawks in the Rose City on Sunday afternoon.

Faceoff is 5 p.m. at the Moda Center.

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Kamloops dropped a 4-1 decision to the Seattle Thunderbirds in Kent. Wash., on Saturday night, despite dominating on the shots clock — 51-34 — including a 23-9 third-period shot advantage.

But Seattle netminder Roddy Ross was game to the challenge, stopping 50 of the 51 shots he faced.

The Thunderbirds jumped out to a 3-0 lead after the first period on goals from Jared Davidson, Adrej Kukica and Alex Morozoff. The opening frame was the lone period in which Seattle outshot Kamloops, 18-9.

There was no scoring in the second period.

Kamloops finally got on the scoreboard 10 seconds into the third period on a power play goal from Zane Franklin, with assists to Orrin Centazzo and Connor Zary.

Seattle restored its three-goal lead when Payton Mount scored with less than three minutes remaining in the final period.

Kamloops was 1-for-5 and Seattle was 0-for-1 on the power play.

Blazers’ goaltender Dylan Garrand stopped 30 of 34 shots he faced.

After coasting through the pre-season with a 7-0 record — and being ranked fifth in the Canadian Hockey League in the pre-season poll — Kamloops has started the regular season 0-2, with the loss to Seattle preceded by a 4-3 setback to visiting Spokane on Sept. 20.

After Sunday’s game in Portland, the Blazers will return home to face Kelowna on Friday, Sept. 27, and Vancouver on Saturday, Sept. 28. Faceoff is 7 p.m. both nights at Sandman Centre.

© Kamloops This Week


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