A busy weekend for the Kamloops Blazers didn't get off to a good start, as they fell 4-1 to the Spokane Chiefs last night in Washington.
Buoyed by the return of Jaret Anderson-Dolan, Ty Smith and Filip Kral from the World Junior Championship, Spokane pulled away from the Blazers in the second period thanks to their special teams.
The Chiefs converted 2 of 6 on the power play, including one by Jake McGrew a minute and a half into the second that broke a 1-1 tie and stood as the game-winner. Kral also had a goal in the second for Spokane and Luke Toporowski added an empty-netter in the third.
The Blazers gave up the first goal to Riley Woods after getting booked for too many men on the ice. But Kobe Mohr got that one back, scoring his fourth of the year with the man advantage. Quinn Schmiemann and Zane Franklin had the assists.
After that, Kamloops couldn't get much going by way of offence. They finished the game with just 21 shots on Spokane goalie Bailey Brkin. Dylan Ferguson stopped 31 of 34 for the Blazers.
That marked the first of six games over the next nine days for Kamloops, an important stretch for a team falling behind in the B.C. Division. The Blazers are currently seven points back of Kelowna for third in the division (with three games in-hand). They'll play those very Rockets tonight at home before finishing the weekend in Everett tomorrow evening.
Puck drop against Kelowna is at 7 p.m. at the Sandman Centre.