For a lot of this WHL season, Guy Charron, the head coach of the Kamloops Blazers, has all but pleaded for secondary scoring from his team.
He got it Friday night as goals from linemates Matt Needham and Chase Souto erased a 1-0 deficit and sparked the Blazers to a 4-1 victory over the Tri-City Americans in Kennewick, Wash.
The Blazers, who were beaten 3-1 by the visiting Americans on Jan. 9, ended a five-game road trip at 2-2-1.
The Blazers will play their fourth game in five days tonight when they play host to the Victoria Royals at Interior Savings Centre. Game time is 7 o'clock. It will be the third time these teams have met since Tuesday - the Royals won the first two games, 6-4 and 3-2 in a shootout, in Victoria on Tuesday and Wednesday. Last night, the Royals beat the Giants ?? in Vancouver.
Last night, forward Jesse Mychan gave the Americans a 1-0 first-period lead with his fifth goal in his last three games.
But the Blazers took over in the second period, outshooting their hosts 13-3 and outscoring them 2-0. Needham scored his eighth goal at 1:52 and Souto got his 10th at 4:59.
Centre Colin Smith provided insurance in the third period, scoring his 29th and 30th goals.
Kamloops goaltender Taran Kozun, making his second straight start, stopped 20 shots, while Tri-City's Luke Lee-Knight turned aside 29.
Earlier in the day, the Americans revealed that goaltender Eric Comrie, 17, will have "minor hip surgery" in Vail, Colo., on Feb. 5 and be lost for the remainder of this season.
Comrie, from Newport Beach, Calif., was No. 2 among North American goaltenders in NHL Central Scouting's mid-season rankings that were released earlier this week.
The victory was the Blazers' 30th of the season, their 3013-5 record leaving them four points behind the B.C. Division-leading Kelowna Rockets, who beat the host Spokane Chiefs 4-2 last night.
The Americans (26-17-3) are fifth in the Western Conference, two points behind Spokane and eight in back of Kamloops.
JUST NOTES: Tri-City F Lukas Walter was ejected with a major penalty and game misconduct for a headshot on Blazers D Joel Edmundson in the third period. . . . The Blazers scratched F Aspen Sterzer (undisclosed), F Tim Bozon (ill) and D Landon Cross (ill). . . . Kamloops associate coach Dave Hunchak will rejoin the team tonight after having been in Saskatoon for the funeral of his mother, Irene.
© Kamloops Daily News