Blazers advance with 6-2 win

Image Credit: Contributed/Kamloops Blazers

The Kamloops Blazers are advancing to the second round of the WHL playoffs after a 6-2 win over the Victoria Royals in Game 6 of a WHL Western Conference best-of-seven series. Kale Kessy led the way with his second hat-trick of the series and seven goals in the six-game series.

The Blazers opened the scoring in this one for only the second time in the six-game series. Cole Ully went hard to the net and eventually put home a rebound 3:45 into the game for a 1-0 Blazers lead. The Blazers took a two goal lead with a late goal at the tail end of a power play. Colin Smith made a terrific pass to an open Kessy for a tap in to give the Blazers a 2-0 lead after the first period.

The second period continued to be all Blazers but a penalty by the Blazers in the offensive zone cost the Blazers. The Royals converted 16 seconds into a power play midway through the period with Ben Walker banging home a rebound to cut the lead to 2-1. The Blazers struck back with a power play goal of their own as Kale Kessy does what he does best going to the net and restoring the two-goal lead. The Royals responded two minutes later on their own power play. Rugged defenseman Keegan Kanzig was put on the power play to go to the net and he did putting in a rebound to cut the Blazers lead to 3-2. The Blazers responded again. Sam Grist wired home a power play goal and before the period was out JC Lipon scored on a rebound in front of the net. The Blazers had a 5-2 lead headed into the third period.

The final period was the Blazers best. The Blazers scored once with Kessy completing the hat-trick on the power play as the Blazers limited the Royals to only two shots in the period and cruised to a 6-2 win.

The Blazers were finally rewarded with goals tonight. After struggling to score despite outshooting the Royals heavily in five of the six games, the Blazers scored six goals on 42 shots. The Blazers outshot the Royals 42-18 on the night.

With the win, the Blazers are advancing to the second round of the WHL playoffs for the second consecutive season. The last time the Blazers advanced to the second round of the playoffs in two consecutive years was back in the 1994-95 and 1995-96 seasons.

The second round of the WHL playoffs is likely to open this Friday and Saturday night. The Blazers will either play Kelowna or Spokane in the second round depending on the outcome of the Kelowna and Seattle playoff series.

Tickets for the second round of the playoffs will be on sale tomorrow morning. Call the Blazers Box Office at 250-828-3339. For season ticket holders, use Round 2 Game 1 tickets to the Blazers first home game of the second round of the playoffs.

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