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Blazers close out preseason with loss

Khomenko leads Cougars to home-ice victory
September 16, 2016 9:56 P.M.

The Kamloops Blazers surrendered four goals in the game’s second half as they dropped a 4-0 decision to the host Prince George Cougars on Friday night in the last WHL exhibition game for each team.
The Cougars finished with a 3-3-0 record; the Blazers went 1-4-0.
Kamloops opens the regular season next weekend by playing a home-and-home series with the Kelowna Rockets. The teams will play in Kamloops on Friday and in Kelowna the following night. At the same time, the Cougars will be in Victoria for a doubleheader with the Royals.
Last night, the Blazers were without nine regulars, all of them at NHL camps, while the Cougars have eight players away.
The Cougars used two veteran goaltenders, with starter Nick McBride turning aside 19 shots and Tavin Grant coming on to finish up with nine saves in his half.
Kamloops starter Dylan Ferguson stopped all 15 shots he faced, with reliever Carter Phair giving up four goals on 16 shots.
The Cougars got two goals from Russian winger Yan Khomenko, who was added to their roster on Sept. 8. Khomenko, 18, spent last season with the Everett Silvertips, scoring five goals and adding three assists in 46 games.
Forward Colby McAuley opened the scoring on a power play at 19:10 of the second period. He camped out in front of Phair and redirected a shot by defenceman Max Martin.
The Cougars took control with two goals early in the third period, Khomenko scoring at 3:18 and forward Aaron Boyd adding another at 4:53. Khomenko rounded out the scoring at 14:43.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 2,332. . . . The Cougars were 1-for-4 on the power play; the Blazers were 0-for-3. . . . Trevor Sprague, the head coach of the major midget Cariboo Cougars, was behind the Prince George bench as an interim assistant coach with associate coach Steve O’Rourke away from the team. . . .
F Brendan Semchuk of Kamloops had a goal and two assists last night, leading the visiting Vancouver Giants to a 5-4 victory over the Kelowna Rockets. It was Semchuk’s first game of any kind since Jan. 2. He played only 28 games before his freshman season was ended by an injury. . . .
D Travis Verveda, who played 32 games with the Blazers over the past two seasons, appears likely to be on the Edmonton Oil Kings’ season-opening roster. Verveda, who turns 19 on Nov. 6, was pointless in four games last season after earning four assists in 28 games in 2014-15. He spent most of last season with the AJHL’s Okotoks Oilers, putting up 19 points, three of them goals, in 40 games. The Blazers dropped him from their list after last season and the Oil Kings picked him up. . . .
Former Blazers F Cole Ully scored twice on Friday as the Dallas Stars opened an NHL prospects tournament in Traverse City, Mich., with a 3-1 victory over the Minnesota Wild. . . . In London, Ont., Colin Smith, another ex-Blazers forward, scored on a breakaway in OT to give the Toronto Maple Leafs rookies a 2-1 victory over the Ottawa Senators.
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