April 18, 2013 - 4:00 AM
The Kamloops Blazers are heading to round three of the WHL playoffs for the first time in 14 years and will go head-to-head with the team that knocked them out last year.
Blazers communications and media coordinator, Tim O'Donovan, said fans can expect an intense rivalry between the Blazers and their next contender - the Portland Winterhawks - after last year's knockout.
"It went to seven games and we were actually down 3-0 in the series," he said. "All the home games were pretty loud."
The Blazers head to Veterans Memorial Coliseum in Portland for games one and two beginning Friday night. They travel south after beating the Victoria Royals in a quarter-final series 4-2 in the first round and sweeping the Kelowna Rockets in the second round taking the series 4-0. This series marks the first time the Blazers have made it past the second round since 1999.
"They made it to the finals that year and lost," O'Donovan said, adding that the Calgary Hitmen took the winning title that year.
Blazers' fans will get a chance at redemption, cheering on their home team as it returns to Kamloops for games three and four of the third round on Tuesday and Wednesday night. Tickets for the first home game at the Interior Savings Centre are already over half sold - about 3,000 of the 5,500 tickets that fill the arena.
O'Donovan expects them to sell fast and recommends getting tickets early. He also encourages fans to support their home team.
Local businesses who show their support have a chance at winning 20 tickets to game three in Kamloops. Participants are asked to decorate their business with a 'Go Blazers Go' sign and send a photo of their team spirit by email to Missy Cederholm, promotions and ticketing coordinator.
Fans attending the home games can also show their support by dressing the part.
"Anything white," O'Donovan said. "White towel, white t-shirt, jersey - anything like that."
For playoff tickets call the Kamloops Blazers Box Office at 250-828-3339 or purchase them online.
To contact a reporter for this story, email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call (250) 319-7494.
Game 1 – Friday, April 19th Kamloops @ Portland 7:00pm
Game 2 – Saturday, April 20th Kamloops @ Portland 7:00pm
Game 3 – Tuesday, April 23rd Portland @ Kamloops 7:00pm
Game 4 – Wednesday, April 24th Portland @ Kamloops 7:00pm
Game 5 – Friday, April 26th Kamloops @ Portland 7:00pm *
Game 6 – Sunday, April 28th Portland @ Kamloops 6:00pm *
Game 7 – Tuesday, April 30th Kamloops @ Portland 7:00pm *
*Games 5 - 7 are pending the results from the first four games.
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News from © InfoTel News Ltd, 2013