Allen Douglas

Blazers stick to the script

On the second night of a head-to-head with the Americans, most hoped for a more spirited affair between the young, disjointed Americans and the red hot Blazers. That hope was extinguished just 20 seconds into Saturday’s game at the Sandman Centre.

Sean “Dr.” Strange hit Connor Zary with a beautiful stretch pass, allowing Zary to deke and slide the puck five-hole on Mason Dunsford. Zary also added an insurance goal on the power play just 3 minutes later.

The Blazers attacked in waves, allowing their depth to shine against a rebuilding opponent in the first frame, which finished 6-0. The rest of the way, the Blazers continued to give their rookies plenty of ice time to reward them for their discipline and performance this season.  Unfortunately for the Americans, the Blazers rookies were also capable of carrying the play.


Typically, a lopsided junior hockey game would see emotions run high, especially on back-to-back nights.  However, both teams stayed away from any extracurricular activities, choosing to deliver clean bodychecks and play between the whistles — a testament to both groups’ coaching and leadership.

Short-term pain…

The Americans have traded away 10 players since September 11th, 2019, as management recognized that the team was not situated to be in win-now mode. Unfortunately, the club will have to endure the resulting growing pains for the rest of the season. To make issues worse, starting goaltender Talyn Boyko’s injury has put 16-year-old netminder Mason Dunsford in a tough position. Mason deserves a ton of credit for his battle Saturday night as he made a number of tough saves in the third period after what could be perceived as a demoralizing weekend.

Familiar name…

Serge Lajoie’s son, Marc, plays for the Americans and gave fans a glimpse of what he might bring to Tri-City for years to come. Brandon Rivers highlighted the 16-year-old defenceman at the beginning of the season in this article.

Blazers’ numbers…

The club jumped into second place in league scoring, just one shy of the Medicine Hat Tigers, after a combined 21 goals in the back-to-back with the Americans. The Blazers now own the best goal differential in the league with a +81 margin.

The Blazers win streak has been extended to seven games, their longest streak of the season, which has seen them pull away from division rivals Victoria (eight points), Kelowna (16 points), and Vancouver (19 points) with 25 games left on the schedule.

The Blazers trail the Winterhawks for the top spot in the Western Conference by a whopping eight points, thanks to Portland’s current, and quite frankly absurd, 16-0-1-1 run.

Next up…

The Blazers visit a revitalized Vancouver Giants team Sunday afternoon in both of the teams’ third game of the weekend. The Giants are coming off of back-to-back wins against the ever difficult Victoria Royals. The Blazers will benefit from the reduced mileage on their stars of late but will have to ensure that they are ready for a much tougher opponent.

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    Zach Moffat

    On the second night of a head-to-head with the Americans, most hoped for a more spirited affair between the young, disjointed Americans and the red ho
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