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Win in Prince George means Blazers season extended by at least one more game

They'll play at least 69 games this season
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FILE PHOTO. Connor Zary in action against the Prince George Cougars, March 15, 2019. He had the game winner last night, March 16, 2019. (via Eric Thompson)

The Blazers are now entering the twilight zone of the hockey season.

They've played their 68 regular season games, but they've got one more all-important game to play. After beating the Cougars 4-2 Saturday night in Prince George, they're headed to a one-off playoff with, who else, the Kelowna Rockets.

The Blazers' entire season comes down to Tuesday night at the Sandman Centre. The two southern interior teams will be playing for a chance to take on the Victoria Royals as the third place team in the B.C. division.

The tie-break came around after both teams pulled off wins Saturday night to end the year with the exact same points total and records (28-32-6-2). The Blazers get home-ice advantage since they won the head to head series.

Getting the tie-break game was no easy task. The Blazers had been riding a hot streak at the end of the season as the headed to Prince George yesterday for the second game of a home-and-home series. Friday night the dream stayed alive despite an overtime loss against the Cougars, when the Rockets lost to Vancouver.

The game in Prince George started off slow, offensively, with a no-goal first period before Kobe Mohr scored his ninth of the season halfway through the second. However, the Cougars tied things up a few minutes later to make it 1-1. Things looked uncertain for a while as no one scored again until the third period was three-quarters done.

That's when Prince George took a 2-1 lead.

The Blazers didn't give in though, with captain Jermaine Loewen coming through big time 15 seconds later to tie the game up right away.

Things were even for a bit until Luke Zazula got nailed for a roughing penalty with less than five minutes to go, but that's when Connor Zary made maybe the play of the year for the Blazers.

Shorthanded he pressured the Cougar on the point, stole the puck and broke away carrying the puck from his blue line. He was able to deke to his backhand and beat Cougars' netminder Taylor Gauthier.

 

 

While Prince George made an effort to tie things up, Jermaine Loewen was able to get the insurance goal on an empty net to wrap the regular season up.

Meanwhile, the Rockets had their own dramatic finish, beating Vancouver in overtime to force the tie break game.

The extra game will go at 7 p.m. at the Sandman Center, March 19. It can also be streamed live (and free) on the WHL's online streaming service.

—  with files from Kyle Balzer




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Brendan Kergin

About the Author: Brendan Kergin

Brendan Kergin is a digital reporter based in Kamloops.
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