The Kamloops Jardine's Blazers won't be winning the Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament this year.
Any chance of that blew away in a 29-second span in the second period of Friday's 5-0 loss to the Coquitlam Chiefs. It means that the Blazers will play in a consolation game today, 7 a.m., at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre, instead of in a semifinal this afternoon, in which Coquitlam will play.
"They knew that it was do-or-die for us," said Kamloops head coach Mark Chase. "But the reality is that we didn't put forth our best effort today and unfortunately we get the 7 a.m., draw.
"We'll see how the group responds - they can either make the most of the last game of the season, or they can just show up."
Both teams entered Friday's round-robin finale knowing that a victory would mean a semifinal berth. But it was Coquitlam that carried the play for most of the first period and the early parts of the second.
The Blazers were hanging in there, and only trailed 1-0 as the clock was winding down in the second period. Coquitlam's Caleb Fantillo scored with 6:22 remaining and, before the Blazers could get up off the mat, Nathan Pelletier made it 3-0 with 5:53 to go.
Just like that, the Blazers' dream of winning Kamloops' longest-running tournament went out the window.
"We're not one of those teams that is extremely resilient," Chase said. "We tend to get down on ourselves and on each other when things don't go our way."
Coquitlam piled on, with Sho Takai and Yohan Cho adding third-period goals. Reid Bowering had opened the scoring 2:30 into the game.
It wasn't exactly an inspired effort from the Blazers who, aside from about 10 minutes in the second period, didn't generate a lot of offence on goaltender Paul Tucek.
"It's frustrating - today we had individuals; a week ago at provincials, we had more team unity than we do now," Chase said. "It's very unfortunate that when we do have individuals that segregate themselves and they're on their own page and not really interested in doing what's asked of them, then the rest of the group kind of crumbles."
Daniel Toews was given Blazers MVP for his work in Kamloops' goal.
Also in Tier 1 action Friday:
* Penticton's Okanagan Hockey Academy booked a ticket to the semifinals after knocking off the Wenatchee, Wash., Wild, 5-1. Aris Anagnostopoulos was the winning goaltender.
* Guillaume Dionne had three goals as the Vancouver Thunderbirds defeated the Richmond Blues, 4-3. Vancouver finished the round-robin 3-0 and also will be in the semifinals.
* Karamdev Grewal and Ben Brar each scored three goals as the Abbotsford Hawks knocked off Kelowna's Pursuit of Excellence 8-1. The Hawks played their way into the semifinals with the victory.
In Tier 2 action Friday:
* The Kamloops Player's Bench Predators finished 2-2 and didn't make it to the semifinals.
The Predators lost 3-2 in overtime to the Chilliwack Bruins on Friday. Nikolas Sourtzis scored 3:24 into the extra period to put it away, after Nolan Jackson and Jesse Nelson had scored for Chilliwack in the second period. Max Patterson and Stefan Nesci scored for the Predators.
* Kyle Kaufman's two goals helped the Hollyburn Huskies dispatch the Williams Lake Timberwolves, 6-5. Colton Thomas had three goals for Williams Lake.
* The Timberwolves bounced back to defeat the North Delta Sun Devils 5-4, thanks to two-goal efforts from Brendan Lane and Chase Dubois.
* Ethan De Jong scored three times in North Shore Winter Club's 5-4 victory over the Westside Warriors. North Shore also knocked off the Calgary Bruins, 5-2.
* Goaltender Daniel Paul helped Westside score a 3-1 victory over OHA.
* The Penticton Vees got four goals from Myles Thibodeau in a 7-2 victory over the Calgary Stampeders.
* The Stamps had troubles in their second game of the day, a 4-1 loss to the New Westminster Royals.
* Spencer Gillis had two goals and a helper as the Calgary Bruins defeated the Cranbrook Hornets, 6-4. Shawn Kledyk had three goals for Cranbrook.
* The Castlegar Rebels went home early, meaning the Spokane Chiefs were awarded a 1-0 default victory.
* Three goals from Nolan Jackson helped the Chilliwack Bruins knock off the Vernon Renegades, 6-2.
* The North Vancouver Storm got goals from eight different players - including two from Tyler Lesage - in a 9-5 victory over Kelowna's Pursuit of Excellence.
* Chad Cromar backstopped the Mission Stars past the Salmon Arm Silvertips, 6-2.
* The Spokane Chiefs defeated the Vernon Renegades, 4-2. Troy Pichette and Kailer Yamamoto, who now has 13 points in four games, each scored two goals.
© Kamloops Daily News