The Kamloops Blazers rolled over the Saskatoon Blades like monster truck tires over an unsuspecting creature Saturday…4-1 the final score in front of 4,024 fans at SaskTel Centre.
It was another example of “the first game home after a long road trip” blues..
Nobody has a good reason why home teams stumble and bumble in the first game at home after a long time away. The Bridge City Bunch blanked the Winterhawks 4-0 last Sunday at the Moda Center…after Portland breezed through the Central Division with a 5-0-1 record.
“Actually, it’s really difficult because the bus (ride home from the U.S. Division road trip) is 20 hours, so we’re still feeling that,” explained Saskatoon defenceman Libor Hajek, who broke Dylan Ferguson’s shutout bid with 8:39 remaining in the third period. “We had a couple of days off, but…
“We didn’t play a good game. We were soft. It wasn’t very good.”
Hajek’s goal came with Kamloops leading 3-0 on goals from Luc Smith, Luke Zazula and Nick Chyzowski. Saskatoon product Garrett Pilon finished the scoring into an empty Blades’ net.
“In the first period, we just kept turning the puck over and over and over again,” said Blades’ head coach Dean Brockman. “Eventually, it’s going to hurt you and it certainly did. With a minute left, you never like to give up a goal like that. It was a tough game for us. We just couldn’t find any legs.”
Kamloops out-shot Saskatoon 29-26, were two-for-four on the power play and killed off all four Bridge City Bunch man-advantages as the Blazers won for the first time on their six-game East Division road trip. They opened Friday by letting a 4-2, third period lead slip away in a 6-5 shootout loss in Prince Albert. Kamloops improved to 14-15-1 for the season while Saskatoon fell to 11-16-3, remaining six points back of the Raiders for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. P.A. moves into SaskTel Centre for their first visit of the season Sunday afternoon at 2:05. It’s the Blades’ “Teddy Bear Toss” game. The broadcast on 92-9, THE BULL starts at 1:30 p.m. Following is the official game summary from the W-H-L...
Kamloops Blazers 4 at Saskatoon Blades 1 - Status: Final Saturday, December 9, 2017 - SaskTel Centre - Saskatoon, SK
Kamloops 1 2 1 - 4 Saskatoon 0 0 1 - 1
1st Period-1, Kamloops, Smith 6 (Chyzowski, Stuart), 18:55. Penalties-Loewen Kam (charging, major-fighting), 11:45; Caller Sas (unsportsmanlike cnd., major-fighting), 11:45.
2nd Period-2, Kamloops, Zazula 2 (Smith, Sigrist), 1:43. 3, Kamloops, Chyzowski 11 (Gatenby, Benjafield), 11:53 (PP). Penalties-Fiala Sas (interference), 7:22; Loewen Kam (interference), 8:40; served by Zawatsky Sas (too many men), 10:36; Loewen Kam (inter. on goaltender), 14:45.
3rd Period-4, Saskatoon, Hájek 8 (Goethals), 14:24. 5, Kamloops, Pilon 15 18:17 (PP EN). Penalties-Reagan Kam (cross checking), 2:56; Bafaro Sas (high sticking), 5:16; Zazula Kam (cross checking), 14:24; Fiala Sas (tripping), 17:54.