Kamloops Blazers open pre-season with win, shootout loss

The Kamloops Blazers opened the 2021 Western Hockey League pre-season with two games on the weekend against the Prince George Cougars.

Hometown Prince George edged Kamloops 7-6 in a shootout on Saturday. The Blazers earned a 5-3 win over the Cougars on Friday, the first WHL game in Sandman Centre since March 6, 2020.

On Saturday, Matthew Seminoff paced the Blazers with three goals and Fraser Minten tallied with 30 seconds remaining in the third period to force overtime.

Josh Pillar and Nick McCarry also scored for the Blazers.

Riley Heidt of the Cougars notched the only goal in the shootout. Heidt, Jonny Hooker, Blake Eastman, Fischer O’Brien, Ryker Singer and Koehn Ziemmer scored in regulation for the Cougars.

Kamloops netminder Jesse Makaj allowed six goals on 25 shots in a losing effort.

Tyler Brennan and Ty Young split time between the pipes for Prince George and allowed three goals each.

Nearly 1,200 fans were at Sandman Centre on Friday.

McCarry, Mats Lindgren, Logan Bairos, Dylan Sydor and Connor Levis lit the lamp for the Blazers.

Makaj and Dylan Ernst split time between the pipes for Kamloops. Ernst allowed two goals on 13 shots. Makaj stopped 11 of 12 shots that came his way.

Brennan and Young each played about 30 minutes in net for Prince George. Brennan allowed four goals on 22 shots. Young allowed one goal on 23 shots.

Ziemmer, Hudson Thornton and Caden Brown scored for the visitors.

The Blazers will play their third exhibition game on Wednesday in Ladner against the Vancouver Giants.

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