Cougars fiddle, while burning Blazers

Kamloops Daily News
January 6, 2014 01:00 AM

Todd Fiddler and the Prince George Cougars quite enjoyed a weekend visit from the Kamloops Blazers.

The Blazers? Not so much.

Fiddler drew two assists on Saturday night, helping the Cougars to a 3-1 WHL victory over the Blazers.

On Friday night, Fiddler scored three goals and set up two others as the Cougars, who went into the weekend having lost three in a row, skated to a 9-5 victory.

The weekend sweep marked the first time in eight tries this season that the Cougars won both ends of a home-ice doubleheader.

Fiddler, a 20-year-old from Meadow Lake, Sask., scored 42 goals last season for the Spokane Chiefs, then was dealt to the Moose Jaw Warriors. The Cougars got him for a conditional fifth-round 2015 bantam draft pick on Nov. 4. Since then, Fiddler has scored 17 goals and added 18 assists in 22 games.

In three games against the Blazers, Fiddler has 13 points.

After a scoreless first period, the Cougars got second-period goals from Klarc Wilson, who had his first WHL three-goal game on Friday, and Mark McNulty.

Kamloops forward Cole Ully got his team-high 18th goal at 3:45 of the third period to get his guys to within a goal. However, Zach Pochiro scored at 5:21 - the goal was awarded after a video review - to provide the home side with some insurance.

The Blazers, who were outshot 40-20, lost for the sixth time in seven games.

Kamloops, with a record of 10-27-4, is last in the 10-team Western Conference, 16 points out of a playoff spot and 13 points behind the ninth-place Cougars. The Blazers are 2-15-2 in games against B.C. Division opponents, including 1-5 versus Prince George. In fact, the Cougars have won the last five games in that series.

The Cougars (16-21-5) moved to within three points of the Tri-City Americans, who hold down the conference's last playoff spot.

The Blazers are scheduled to practice at Interior Savings Centre this morning and then head for Kennewick, Wash., where they are to play the Americans on Tuesday. Kamloops will move on to Spokane after the game and play the Chiefs there on Friday.

The Blazers will open a seven-game homestand on Saturday against the Cougars.

JUST NOTES: Attendance was 1,553. . . . The Blazers had prospects Jake Kryski, 15, and Deven Sideroff, 16, in their lineup. Kryski, who had two assists in his WHL debut on Friday, is to return today to the major midget Okanagan Rockets, while Sideroff will go back to the Okanagan Hockey Academy. . . . The Blazers scratched F Mitch Friesen (healthy), F Matt Needham (leg), F Chase Souto (hand), F Luke Harrison (head), D Jordan Thomson (personal) and F Nick Chyzowski (U17 World Hockey Challenge). Souto is expected to make the trip south today, while Needham and Harrison will stay home. . . .

The Cougars dressed 16 skaters, two under the maximum. They were without F Jansen Harkins, F Brad Morrison and D Tate Olson, all of whom were at the WHC, along with F Alex Forsberg, G Brett Zarowny, D Peter Kosterman, F Chase Witala, F Jari Erricson, F David Soltes and F Brett Roulston, all of whom are injured. Forsberg was hurt in the third period of Friday's game. . . .

D Joe Hicketts of the Victoria Royals, who is from Kamloops, hasn't played since Oct. 26 after undergoing what the Victoria Times Colonist reports was "surgery to repair a torn tendon in (an) arm." The newspaper says Hicketts "will rejoin the team this week and may be ready (to play) by the end of the month."

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