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Blazers run winning streak to four games

Revel, Quinney, Needham each score twice
March 8, 2016 10:44 P.M.

The Kamloops Blazers continued their march to the WHL playoffs on Tuesday night by beating the Tri-City Americans, 6-2, at the Toyota Center in Kennewick, Wash.
The victory, sparked by two goals from each of Matt Revel, Gage Quinney and Matt Needham, was the Blazers’ fourth in a row and improved their record to 33-25-9. They continue this three-game road trip against the Spokane Chiefs tonight (Wednesday) and then meet the Rockets in Kelowna on Friday.
The Blazers remain in possession of the 10-team Western Conference’s first wild-card playoff spot. They now are six points ahead of the Chiefs, who hold down the second spot.
At the same time, the Blazers are fourth in the B.C. Division, but now trail the third-place Prince George Cougars by only one point. Each team has five games remaining. The Cougars, who clinched a playoff spot with Tri-City’s loss, will play the host Rockets tonight.
The B.C. Division’s third-place finisher will play the second-place team, which currently is Kelowna, in the first round of the playoffs. The team that finishes in the first wild-card spot will draw the first-place team from the U.S. Division, a position that is held down by the Seattle Thunderbirds at the moment. They are two points ahead of the Everett Silvertips.
The Americans (31-33-3) badly needed a victory on this night, but it wasn’t to be. They are four points out of a playoff spot with five games remaining.
The Blazers took a 3-0 lead by scoring while shorthanded, at even strength and on the power play.
The Blazers broke open a scoreless game with two goals late in the first period, as they outshot their hosts, 13-5. Revel scored his 20th goal of the season while shorthanded, at 16:55, and Quinney got his 26th at 18:57. Quinney was back in the lineup after having served a two-game WHL suspension.
Revel banged in his second of the game, while on a PP, at 13:54 of the second period.
Needham added even more insurance, with his 22nd goal, at 7:17 of third period.
Kamloops goaltender Connor Ingram, who stopped 97 shots in posting back-to-back 3-2 victories over Kelowna on the weekend, had a lighter workload in this one. He finished with 20 saves, losing his shutout to Michael Rasmussen at 11:35 of the third period.
Tri-City starter Evan Sarthou surrendered two goals on 16 shots in one period. Nick Sanders came on in relief to start the second period and stopped 17 of 20 shots.
Quinney added an empty-net goal at 16:36, with Needham getting his second of the game at 17:04 with Sanders back in goal.
Tri-City’s Nolan Yaremko closed out the scoring at 17:32.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 3,080. . . . The Blazers were 1-for-2 on the PP; the Americans were 0-for-2. . . . Ingram was saluted this week as the WHL and CHL’s goaltender of the week. He was 3-0-0, 1.33, .969 last week. He was the first star in each of the three games. It was the third time this season that he has earned the WHL honour, and his first time as the CHL’s honouree. . . . Revel and Needham added an assist each for three-point nights. . . . The Blazers got two assists from each of D Dawson Davidson and F Collin Shirley. . . . Each team won twice in the four-game season series. . . . The Blazers scratched D Nolan Kneen, G Cole Kehler, F Erik Miller and F Spencer Bast. . . . The Americans were without D Dakota Krebs, F Jordan Roy, F Austyn Playfair, F Kyle Olson and F Riley Sawchuk. . . . Needham’s three points leave him with a career total of 245 points in 313 games. His father, Mike, who is on the Blazers’ coaching staff, put up 243 points in 176 games with Kamloops (1987-90). . . . The Blazers are scheduled to play their next home game on Saturday, 7 p.m., against the Vancouver Giants.
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