The Seattle Thunderbirds and their fans staged a New Year's Eve party in Kent, Wash., on Tuesday night.
The Kamloops Blazers didn't stick around for the fun times and it's likely a good thing they didn't; after all, the Blazers had put a damper on things as they ended a four-game losing skid by whipping the Thunderbirds, 7-1, in front of a sellout crowd of 6,149.
"We played hard," Kamloops head coach Dave Hunchak said Sunday after having returned home. "Everything kind of came together. We worked. We competed. We were physical."
The Blazers (10-25-4), who had been 3-7-0 in their previous 10 games, led 2-0 and 5-0 at the intermissions, and finished the night with two shorthanded goals, Mitch Lipon opening the scoring at 9:11 of the first period and Joe Kornelsen finishing it at 12:02 of the third.
Cole Ully added two goals for the Blazers, giving him a team-high 17, while Collin Shirley, Ryan Rehill and Tyson Ness also scored. Rehill's goal was the first of his two-season career; it came in his 85th regular-season game.
Seattle defenceman Evan Wardley was tossed early in the second period for a headshot on Ully, who wasn't injured on the play.
The Thunderbirds, who were 8-1-1 in their last 10 games, got their goal from Branden Troock, his 19th score of the season coming at 5:48 of the third period.
Kamloops goaltender Taran Kozun stopped 33 shots as he improved to 5-17-3. Seattle opened with Justin Myles, who stopped 10 of 12 shots in the first period, and Danny Mumaugh came on to open the second. Mumaugh surrendered five goals on 25 shots.
"Their goaltending wasn't very good for once and ours didn't have to make a lot of saves," Hunchak said.
The Blazers (10-25-4) are scheduled to spend the weekend in Prince George, where they will play the Cougars (14-21-5) on Friday and Saturday nights. The Blazers are last in the 10-team Western Conference, nine points behind the ninth-place Cougars.
Kamloops, which played with 17 skaters, one under the maximum, in Seattle, is bringing in forwards Jake Kryski and Deven Sideroff for the weekend.
Kryski, who will turn 16 on March 8, was acquired from the Prince Albert as part of the deal in which goaltender Cole Cheveldave, 20, went to the Raiders. Prince Albert had selected Kryski with the 13th overall pick in the WHL's 2014 bantam draft. From Vancouver, he has 28 points, including nine goals, in 24 B.C. Major Midget League games with the Kelowna-based Okanagan Rockets.
Sideroff, a 16-year-old from Summerland, played two games with the Blazers last season, scoring one goal and adding an assist. Sideroff, who attends the Okanagan Hockey Academy in Penticton, was added to the Blazers' list after the team's 2012 training camp and signed a year ago.
Kryski is scheduled to practice with the team this morning before it leaves for Prince George. Sideroff is to fly into Prince George on Friday.
JUST NOTES: Kornelsen, 20, played his first game since Dec. 6, when he suffered a brain injury. He missed nine games. . . . The Blazers are 2-0-0 against Seattle this season. Kamloops beat the visiting Thunderbirds 31 on Oct. 16. . . . Seattle was able to dress only 16 skaters. . . . The Blazers were without F Matt Needham (leg), F Luke Harrison (head), F Chase Souto (undisclosed), F Jordan Thomson (personal), F Nick Chyzowski (U17 World Hockey Challenge) and G Bolton Pouliot (hand). . . . Hunchak said none of the injured are expected back this weekend. . . . The Thunderbirds scratched F Mathew Barzal, F Keegan Kolesar, D Ethan Bear and F Lane Pederson, all of whom are at the U17 WHC. Also not dressed were F Connor Honey and F Jaimen Yakubowski, both of whom are injured. . . .
The Kelowna Rockets, who are atop the WHL's overall standings, ran their winning streak to 15 games on Tuesday with a 9-3 victory over the Winterhawks in Portland. They will play again Thursday in Portland. . . . The Spokane Chiefs traded D Tyler King, 18, to the Kootenay Ice for F Hudson Elynuik, 16, on Tuesday. The Ice was looking for a defenceman after losing Tanner Faith (shoulder) for the season. King, a first-round selection in the 2010 bantam draft, had 27 points in 132 games with Spokane. Elynuik, a third-round pick in the 2012 draft, had two points in 31 games with the Ice this season. He is the son of former NHLer Pat Elynuik. . . . On Wednesday, the Swift Current Broncos acquired F Nate Burns, 20, and a 2014 seventh-round bantam draft pick from the Saskatoon Blades for F Connor Sanvido, 20, F Wyatt Sloboshan, 16, a second-round pick in the 2014 draft and a conditional third-rounder in 2015. Sloboshan was a third-round pick by the Broncos in the 2012 draft. . . . The WHL's trade deadline arrives on Jan. 10.
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