Sizzle goes out of Blazers in WHL
The Kamloops Blazers’ season appears to be on the brink following an eight-game losing streak.
The Blazers (6-17-2-1) have dropped to the basement of the Western Hockey League’s Western Conference, 12 points out of a playoff spot.
The last time Kamloops lost eight consecutive games was at the end of the 2010-11 season, also the last time the Blazers didn’t qualify for postseason.
“The only way to get through this is to work through it,” Blazers coach Dave Hunchak told Mark Hunter of the Kamloops Daily News. “We need all 22 guys pulling in the same direction.”
It won’t get easier for the Blazers, who will meet Kelowna (17-3-0-2) in back-to-back games this weekend.
Victories for Victoria
The low-scoring Victoria Royals acquired 6-foot-6 Axel Blomqvist from the Lethbridge Hurricanes last week for fourth- and eighth-round picks in the 2014 WHL bantam draft.
The Royals have the third-fewest goals (74) in the league but are still 17-10-0-1 and tied for fourth place in the Western Conference with the Spokane Chiefs with 35 points.
Victoria has won four consecutive games and eight of its last 10.
Lethbridge’s season has slipped away with a 3-20-2-2 record.
Around the league
Goalie Jayden Sittler made his WHL debut last Wednesday as an emergency fill-in and stopped all 17 shots he faced as his Kootenay Ice defeated host Red Deer 4-3. Sittler, a Red Deer native, will soon rejoin the midget AAA Red Deer Optimist Chiefs. … Saskatoon snapped a five-game losing streak by defeating Lethbridge 5-2 last Friday. The Blades have struggled since winning seven of 10 in October. … Brandon acquired goalie Christopher Tai from Lethbridge last week as main goalie Curtis Honey continues to battle an upper-body injury. … Sam Reinhart scored five goals in two games over the weekend as Kootenay defeated visiting Brandon twice. … Tri-City’s six-game home winning streak ended Friday with a 4-1 setback against the Kelowna Rockets. The Rockets continue to boast the league’s best winning percentage (.818). Defenseman Madison Bowey leads Kelowna with 11 goals. … Joshua Winquist and Tyler Sandhu scored 11 seconds apart Friday as Everett broke away for a 4-1 win at Medicine Hat. Winquist also scored the lone goal Saturday as the Silvertips recorded a 1-0 win at Calgary. Winquist had four goals and four assists in four games last week, earning him WHL Player of the Week honors. Everett is 19-2-4-0, with a league-best 42 points, against the rest of the league but 0-2 against Spokane. … Regina just completed a 5-3 road trip and hasn’t played at home in 3 1/2 weeks. … Moose Jaw’s Scott Cooke, recently acquired from Vancouver, expects to make his season debut soon. Cooke, who broke his right leg during Vancouver’s preseason, has been on the injured list four times during his WHL career. … Vancouver started the season 3-9-1-1 but is 8-2-3-0 since.