Ice extinguish Blazers, fall to Rockets

Kootenay thumps Kamloops 7-3, but are edged 2-1 after a close game in Kelowna.

A day after returning to the win column, the Ice were felled by one of the hottest teams in the CHL.

Kootenay extinguished the Blazers for a 7-3 win on Friday to snap a three-game losing streak, but dropped a 2-1 decision to the Kelowna Rockets the following night.

It was a close affair on Saturday night, as the Ice struck first, but were unable to hold on to the lead, which the Rockets evened in the second period, and stole in the last seven minutes for the go-ahead goal.

Luke Philp struck first on a blast from the top of the circle during a Kootenay powerplay to put the Ice up 1-0 after the opening frame.

Carter Rigby answered back for the Rockets at the halfway mark of the middle frame, using one hand to jab the puck across the goal line while trailing the play.

Heading into the final ten minutes of the last period, Myles Bell received a drop pass from Justin Kirkland in the Kootenay zone and wired a shot into the net.

Mackenzie Skapski manned the crease for the Ice, making 28 saves, while Jackson Whistle stopped 30 shots for Kelowna.

Tim Bozon had a four-point night in a triumphant return to Kamloops along with former Blazer teammate Landon Cross on Friday night, both of whom came to Kootenay via trade for Collin Shirley, Matt Thomas and draft picks earlier in the season.

Kootenay picked up their first win of the road trip with an explosion of offence, as Bozon and Jaedon Descheneau both notched a pair of goals in a 7-3 win.

Though Kootenay got off to a good start with two goals in the first frame,  they really put it away in the second, lighting the goal lamp four times.

Descheneau tallied first with the man-advantage, and Bozon capitalized just a minute afterwards.

Kamloops responded 40 seconds into the second period on a powerplay goal from Josh Connolly.

The two teams then traded goals as Descheneau got another powerplay marker, and Cole Ully found the back of the net.

Then the floodgates opened.

Over the course of five minutes, Philp, Matt Alfaro and Bozon scored, the latter making it Kootenay’s third goal with the man-advantage for a 6-2 lead after 40 minutes.

Zak Zborosky padded the lead for Kootenay, while Eric Krienke scored a late powerplay goal for the Blazers.

Wyatt Hoflin picked up the win for the Ice, making 30 saves, while Cole Kehler and Taran Kozun shared netminding duties, collectively stopping 19 shots.

The injury bug has gone around a bit during the road trip, as Kootenay lost Ryan Chynoweth and Tanner Faith in Vancouver; the former took a hit in the corner and left the game, while Faith went down hard onto the ice and headed to the dressing room.

Kootenay heads into Prince George for their final game of the road trip to challenge the Cougars on Tuesday night. The Cats have a under-0.500 record seesawing from wins to losses like the Ice.

Troy Bourke, Chase Witala and Todd Fiddler are the primary offensive threats, each with 30 points or more to lead the team. Ty Edmonds has gotten the lions share of starts, posting a 3.46 goals against average and a save percentage of