The Kamloops Blazers’ season-opening WHL losing skid reached three games on Friday night as they dropped a 4-2 decision to the host Victoria Royals.
Victoria forward Tyler Soy, who had said he didn’t play particularly well in his side’s season-opening sweep of the
Portland Winterhawks, got back on track with two key goals against the Blazers.
The Blazers (0-3-0), who have never opened a season with four straight losses, and Royals (3-0-0) will meet again tonight in Victoria. Kamloops last began a season with three straight losses in 1997-98. The Blazers won their fourth game that season, beating visiting Portland, 3-1.
Soy, an 18-year-old from Surrey who is in his third season with the Royals, broke a 1-1 tie at 6:12 of the second period, on a power play, and stretched the lead to 3-1 at 17:50.
Soy had been pointless in the two victories over Portland. Last season, he had 63 points, including 28 goals, in 69 games. He went unclaimed in the NHL’s 2015 draft, but attended the Edmonton Oilers’ rookie camp.
Victoria defenceman Chaz Reddekopp also scored twice, his first goal, also on a power-play, opening the scoring at 7:48 of the first period.
Forward Jake Kryski pulled Kamloops even with a power-play goal at 15:11 of the opening period. Kryski has two goals in three games this season.
Unfortunately for the Blazers, it was all uphill after that, with Soy scoring his two goals and Reddekopp getting his second
goal at 15:16 of the third period.
Freshman defenceman Nolan Kneen, the third-overall selection in the WHL’s 2014 bantam draft, scored his first career goal for the Blazers at 19:13 of the third period.
Goaltender Coleman Vollrath stopped 26 shots in his third straight complete game for the Royals. Connor Ingram of the Blazers turned aside 25 shots.
Victoria forward Alex Forsberg, who had torched Portland for two goals and five assists in the two games, was held to one assist. Linemates Jack Walker and Vladimir Bobylev were blanked. The three had combed for 16 points, including six goals, against Portland.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 3,449. . . . The Royals were 2-for-6 on the power-play; the Blazers were 1-for-4. . . . Victoria D Joe Hicketts, who is from Kamloops, had two assists. In 20 career games agains the Blazers, he has 16 points, including 13 assists. . . . F Jesse Zaharichuk had two assists for Kamloops, while Kryski added an assist to his goal. . . . F Matt Revel returned to the Blazers’ lineup for the first time since injuring a shoulder on Sept. 11. . . . The Blazers scratched F Deven Sideroff (ill, week-to-week), D Conner McDonald, who was injured early in training camp, F Luke Harrison and D Cam Reagan. . . . Harrison was the odd-man out among the four 20-year-olds. . . . Last season, the Blazers were 4-3-1 against the Royals who, because of overtime games, were 4-3-1 against the Blazers. . . . They’ll play eight times again this season. After this weekend, they next meet Oct. 10 and 21 in Kamloops. . . . The Blazers play at home Wednesday against the Tri-City Americans.