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Blazers take care of business by crushing Petes 10-2 at Memorial Cup

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — What a difference a day and a drubbing can make at the Memorial Cup.
Kamloops Blazers' Jakub Demek, front right, and Fraser Minten celebrate Demek's goal against Peterborough Petes goalie Liam Sztuska, back right, during second period Memorial Cup hockey action, in Kamloops, B.C., on Sunday, May 28, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck

KAMLOOPS, B.C. — What a difference a day and a drubbing can make at the Memorial Cup.

Dejected and filled with doubts following an opening 8-3 loss to the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League champion Quebec Remparts on Friday night, the host Kamloops Blazers regrouped and vowed to take care of business Sunday against the Peterborough Petes.

Mission accomplished.

The Blazers jumped on the Ontario Hockey League champion Petes early and often en route to a 10-2 victory that included four power-play goals, improving their record to 1-1 in the four-team, 10-day championship tournament at the Sandman Centre.

The Petes slipped to 0-2 and must now beat the Remparts on Tuesday or they'll be spectators for the playoff round.

The Petes, 6-3 losers to the Western Hockey League champion Seattle Thunderbirds on Saturday, said they needed to be more physical and aggressive against the Blazers, but found themselves down by three goals before the first period was 14-minutes-old. A fourth Kamloops goal was waved off for goaltender interference.

Kamloops increased its lead to 7-0 before the nine-minute mark of the second frame, and by then even the visiting team knew all the lyrics to the Blazers' Bachman-Turner Overdrive goal song.

Logan Stankoven had a goal and four assists for the Blazers, while Connor Levis had a goal and two assists. Ryan Michael, Fraser Minten, Ashton Ferster, Matthew Seminoff, Dylan Sydor, Jakub Demek, Matthew Seminoff and Ryan Hofer scored singles.

Caedan Bankier and Olen Zellweger also chipped in with two assists apiece for the Blazers.

Avery Hayes scored a power-play goal for the Petes, and Quinton Page scored with 20 seconds left in the game. The Petes were outshot 49-30.

Kamloops led 3-0 after the first period and took a 7-1 lead into the third. The Blazers went 4-for-7 on the power play, while the Petes were 1-for-4.

Stankoven was thrilled that the "real Blazers" showed up Sunday after a disappointing start against Quebec.

"I knew there was a lot more to give from myself personally," said Stankoven. "We were a really focused group today and hungry to play the right way. It was nice to come out with a big win like that."

Blazer bench boss Shaun Clouston agreed, adding: "I thought the guys were really focused. They didn't mess around. Right from the opening faceoff we wanted to get in on the forecheck … and I thought the guys did a terrific job."

POKE CHECKS: The only concern for Kamloops on Sunday was the health of defenceman Kyle Masters who was hit and fell backwards into the corner boards with under seven minutes left in the game and was taken off the ice on a stretcher. … The Seattle Thunderbirds and Quebec Remparts will play Monday (9 p.m. ET) in a battle of unbeaten teams. The Remparts play again Tuesday (9 p.m. ET) against the Petes. The Blazers final game of the round-robin is Wednesday when they face the Thunderbirds in an all-WHL showdown. The T-Birds beat the Blazers in a six-game Western Conference final series earlier this month.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published May 28, 2023.

The Canadian Press