Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Blazers backlash

Some days are diamonds, some days are stones.

Those lyrics from a John Denver song from 1981.

That tune could have been blaring out of the loudspeakers at Prospera Place last night after a 10-2 drubbing at the hands of the Kamloops Blazers. 

On a night when nothing went right, the Blazers exploded for 5 power play goals in the setback, which fortunately had no fans in the stands to witness.

It was the first time in franchise history that the team surrendered 10 goals against on home ice. 

  • The game started out decently for the home team. Sure, they were down 2-0 after 1 period but the game was still in doubt. That all changed when the Blazers scored three-second period power play goals and blew the game open. Down 6-0 after 40 minutes, the game was essentially over.
  • The Rockets changed goalies after 40 minutes, with Cole Schwebius replaced by Roman Basran. It seemed to jump start the offense with two quick strikes from Alex Swetlikoff and Dillon Hamaliuk to make the score 6-2. Any comeback bid was doused when the Blazers  - again - scored on the power play three minutes later and the rout was on.
  • Blazers rookie forward Connor Levis will want to play the Rockets all the time. The 16 year-old had two-three goal games against them. At seasonal series end, Levis had 6 goals and 10 points in four games against the Blazers arch rival. 
  • The game started with a bang. Tyson Feist dropped the gloves with Western Conference tough guy Montana Onyebuchi. The tilt caught me off guard as we don't typically see these type of premeditated tilts anymore shortly after the opening faceoff. The two tangled 11 seconds into the game. If it did one thing, it woke up the Blazers but, sadly, did little for the home team.
  • How good was the Blazers power play against the Rockets in the four game seasonal series? They scored 12 times with the extra man for an efficiency rate of 57%.
  • Dylan Ernst earned the win in goal for the Blazers. Making his first start against his older brother, Ethan's team, the 17 year-old was steady and sharp early on in the game when the Rockets had some good looks. 
  • The Rockets were playing their third game in four nights, with two of those games played in Kamloops. Was that a factor in last night's lethargic effort? 
  • What's next? The abbreviated season comes to an end tomorrow night against the visiting Victoria Royals. The Royals are on the road tonight in Kamloops where they face the Vancouver Giants. The hope is several players will have solid showings, including 20 year-old's Sean Comrie, Dillon Hamaliuk and David Kope, who will all play their final games in junior hockey. The same holds true for Kaedan Korczak, who will turn pro next season. We will also likely see the end of either Roman Basran or Cole Schwebius too. Both will be 20 year-old players next season and the team won't be keeping both. 

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