Colin Smith would rather have been across town with Team Canada.
But he wasn’t, so he made the most of it, scoring twice in regulation time and once more in the shootout as the Kamloops Blazers beat the host Calgary Hitmen 3-2 on Tuesday night.
Smith was ignored last week when Hockey Canada announced the roster for its national junior team selection camp that opened yesterday in Calgary. Right-winger JC Lipon, who plays on Smith’s line with the Blazers, is in that camp.
With the Blazers trailing 2-0 in the second period, Smith scored his 24th goal of the season at 12:21. Then, just 19 seconds into the third period, Smith scored a power-play goal to pull the visitors into a tie.
Forwards Zach Jones and Brady Brassart had Calgary’s goals.
In the shootout, Swedish forward Victor Rask gave the home side a 1-0 lead. However, Smith tied it and, after goaltender Cole Cheveldave made a glove save on Greg Chase, forward Brendan Ranford scored to win it.
Cheveldave, the WHL’s reigning goaltender of the week, finished with 24 saves as he won in his hometown.
Calgary goaltender Chris Driedger stopped 18 shots.
The Blazers play the second game of a four-game Alberta swing tonight against the Oil Kings in Edmonton.
The Blazers (25-7-3) are back atop the WHL’s overall standings, two points ahead of the Portland Winterhawks (25-5-1), who don’t play until Friday. After tonight, Portland will hold five games in hand.
JUST NOTES: Attendance was 7,068. . . . Kamloops was 1-for-5 on the power play; the Hitmen were 1-for-4. . . . Smith now leads the WHL in goals (25), assists (36) and points (61). . . . The Blazers scratched F Dylan Willick (ankle), F Cole Ully (mononucleosis), F JC Lipon (Team Canada) and D Jordan Thomson. . . . Kamloops D Marek Hrbas will leave after tonight’s game to join the Czech national junior team.