Sure, it was a battle of the only two teams to miss the playoffs in the WHL's Western Conference. And yeah, it's only the preseason.
But the Kamloops Blazers 5-0 win over the Prince George Cougars last night (Aug. 31) in their first game of the new season had a ton of positives to get fans excited about the upcoming year.
With both teams favouring rookie-heavy lineups, Kamloops got a glimpse of a bright future, with Logan Stankoven and Martin Lang connecting for goals not once, but twice on the night.
Stankoven, a Kamloops native and first-round pick of this year's WHL Draft, took a feed from Lang in the second and buried his first goal in a Blazers uniform to put the team up 2-0. Then in the third, Stankoven returned the favour, feeding Lang so this year's first-round pick of the CHL Import Draft could go top shelf get his first in blue and orange, extending the lead to 3-0.
Brodi Stuart also finished the night with a goal and an assist, while Orrin Centazzo and Carson Denomie had a goal each. Montana Onyebuchi picked up two assists while Sean Strange, Jermaine Loewen and Trevor Thurston each added one.
In net, Dylan Ferguson got the start and stopped 13 shots before turning it over to Rayce Ramsey, who closed out the shutout with 11 saves of his own.
The Blazers only registered one shutout all of last season.
The team is back in action again tonight against the Victoria Royals, with head coach Serge Lajoie saying a few of the younger players are set to play back-to-backs. Puck drop is at 7 p.m.