This game did not have two points on the line, but don’t tell these teams that. Games between Kamloops and Kelowna are always hard fought, even in the preseason.
In the first period Kelowna started the scoring by cashing in on a odd play. With Max Palaga out of the goal on a delayed penalty Kamloops’ Connor Zary shot the puck at the Kelowna net and missed. The puck rimmed around the boards and into the Blazers net. The period would finish 2-0.
Kamloops would score two in the second including one off the tape of 2000-born forward Brodi Stuart. Stuart knows he is going to be relied on to produce offense more this year. “I’m ready for a bigger role this year, i want to be more of role player.” added Stuart after tonight’s contest. Kelowna would score with ten seconds left in the period to retake the lead 3-2.
Early in the third frame Stuart would finish a beautiful passing play from Orrin Centazzo and Nolan Kneen to send the game to overtime. The Langley, BC native Stuart isn’t taking this year for granted, “For me, every year i’m working on getting stronger and faster. I definitely want to get more explosive.”
Overtime would bring lots of end-to-end action capped off by a two-on-one rush where Defensemen Nolan Kneen was able to put home a pass from Blazers newcomer Zane Franklin.
After the game, coach Serge Lajoie was singing the praises of forwards Stuart and Centazzo. “To me the biggest thing that sticks out is their play away from the puck, we talk about checking with your feet, and they did a lot of that. They created some turnovers and were quick to attack.”
The Blazers finish the preseason on the road with games in Kelowna and Prince George. Their first regular season action comes on September 21st against these same Kelowna Rockets.