BLAZERS vs ICE WEEKEND SUMMARY
“We always seem to play down to the other teams level or we play up to their level” said Mark Chase, the head coach of the Thompson Blazers as they hosted the Kootenay Ice this past weekend. The two teams, who are at the bottom of the BCMML standings, played to a pair of ties this weekend in downtown Kamloops.
The visitors (Ice) opened the scoring on the power-play and got out to a two-nothing lead in the first period on Saturday night at the Interior Savings Centre.
Zander King-Buchanan (2nd) cut the lead in half midway through the second frame with a snap shot from the slot seconds after a T-Blazer power-play expired. The Ice restored their two-goal lead just over two minutes later with a shorthanded marker. Nii Noi Tetteh (7th) let a wrist shot go from just inside of the blue-line, through traffic and the puck found it’s way through to the back of the net putting the home team back within one with less than six minutes remaining in the middle frame.
The tying goal in game one came on the power-play and off of the stick of Cole Perison (3rd) with 3:43 remaining in the third period. Tylor Seabrooke passed the puck over at the point off of a face-off and Perison let a shot go through traffic.
“In the 3-3 tie (Saturday) we ended up playing only 40 minutes of hockey…the first period was unfortunately quite poor for us and our defensive unit who is the heart and soul of our hockey team weren’t holding their end of the bargain so we had to have a chat with them in between the first and second period and after that you know we found a way to come from behind and eventually get a point.” Chase said.
Dustin Vasil (2nd) opened the scoring in game two on Sunday at Memorial arena as he leaned into a wrist shot from the slot that went blocker side, midway through the first period.
Kooteney tied the game at one in second frame. The T-Blazers took their second lead of the game 3:11 into the third on a power-play, after captain Dexter Robinson won an offensive zone face-off. Cole Perison and Cody Allen passed the puck around at the points before Allen slid it down to Nii Noi Tetteh along the boards and Tetteh’s centering pass hit a Kootenay player in the slot and the puck came back to Perison (4th) at the point who slapped it through traffic, high blocker side 14 seconds into the man-advantage.
“Today (Sunday) we actually had the lead and we found a way to let them back in it. And that’s not what we wanted to have happen and it’s just paying attention to little details things and the work ethic has to be there for a full 60 minutes.” Head Coach Mark Chase was frustrated but as far as the bigger picture…”Overall, I think we definitely made some progress. The attention to certain things that we had worked on all week in practise was there but it wasn’t executed every single time so consistency is an issue. What seems to happen for us is that we always play down to the other teams level or we play up to their level and every game that we’re in is always a close game especially for the first one. Then mental toughness comes into play for us in game two and you know we just need to push the pace and start dictating the games as opposed to sitting back and waiting to see what’s going to happen, by that point it’s too late for us.”
The T-Blazers went one-for-ten on the power-play on the weekend and six-for-seven on the penalty kill. The goaltending duties were split again as usual with Bailey DePalma in on Saturday and Daniel Toews between the pipes on Sunday.
The Thompson Blazers have four games remaining before the holiday break. They will practice this week as normal on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons at Memorial arena as they prepare to host and meet again this season, the North Island Silvertips (8-9-2). The T-Blazers tied the Tips 3-3 and lost 6-1 in Nanaimo in the middle of October. Game times are Saturday 6 p.m. at the Art Holding Memorial Arena in Chase and Sunday 10:45 a.m. at the MacArthur Island Sports Centre on the Olympic sized sheet of ice.
After this coming weekend the T-Blazers will have their second bye weekend of the season before finishing the first half with a home and home with the Okanagan Rockets beginning Saturday afternoon, the 21st in Kelowna. All of the T-Blazers and BCMML games are also available online: http://www.bchockey.net/mml/MMLNewsItem.aspx?id=1642
Ian Douglas – Radio NL