The red-hot Kamloops Blazers extended their WHL winning streak to five games with a 4-1 victory over the host Vancouver Giants on Wednesday evening.
Kamloops (38-15-5) remains third in the Western Conference, five points back of the Kelowna Rockets. The Blazers, who have won 9 of their last 11 games, are set to play a home-and-home set with the Rockets — the teams will play at Interior Savings Centre on Friday and in Kelowna on Saturday.
Kamloops scored the deciding blow Wednesday early in the second period.
Only 30 seconds after Vancouver’s Arvin Atwal tied the game with his second of the season, Matt Needham potted his 12th to put the Blazers up a goal. Only 65 seconds later, Colin Smith buried his 37th of the season, and Kamloops was on its way.
Kale Kessy, whom the Blazers acquired from Vancouver in January, knocked in his 15th of the season — his sixth with Kamloops — on a power-play at 6:14 of the third period to ice things.
Defenceman Joel Edmundson, on a first-period breakaway, had the Blazers’ other goal, and Brendan Ranford had two assists.
The loss was just another in what has been a tough season for the Giants. Vancouver now has lost five of its last six, and sits last in the 22-team league at 14-43-0.
Cole Cheveldave, who was starting his ninth straight game, made 22 saves for his fifth straight victory and his 28th of the season.
Jared Rathjen started in goal for the Giants, and made 24 saves.
JUST NOTES: Kessy’s goal was the only power-play score in the game; Kamloops had four opportunities, while Vancouver had six. . . . Smith’s 37 goals have him third in the WHL in scoring behind Portland teammates Brendan Leipsic and Nic Petan, who both have 40. . . . Vancouver, which will play Kamloops three times over its next 10 games, is scheduled to play the Thunderbirds in Seattle on Friday. . . . Kelowna is at home to the Everett Silvertips tonight, before the weekend series with the Blazers.