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Lind hat trick too much for Blazers

Kamloops defenceman Valentine lost for "weeks"
December 28, 2015 10:58 P.M.

For a second straight game, the Kamloops Blazers couldn’t handle left-winger Kole Lind of the Kelowna Rockets.
Lind, a 17-year-old freshman from Shaunavon, Sask., scored three times Monday night as the Rockets beat the visiting Blazers, 3-2, at Prospera Place.
One night earlier, Lind scored once and set up right-winger Tyson Baillie’s winner in the third period as the Rockets won 2-1 at the Sandman Centre in Kamloops.
Last night, it was Baillie with the pass from behind the Kamloops net to Lind who broke a 1-1 tie at 2:33 of the third period. Baillie had taken a nifty long pass from first-year defenceman Jason Smart, but wasn’t able to gain control in time to get off a shot, so had gone behind the net.
Lind, who scored his first goal at 1:17 of the first period, completed his first WHL hat trick at 10:45 with a shot that bounced off a defender and into the Blazers net. Lind has 13 goals this season; the last one resulted in two hats being thrown onto the ice surface.
“My teammates set me up for some really good chances, and I just found the right place at the right time it seemed the whole game,” Lind told Larry Fisher of the Kelowna Daily Courier. “I had a couple extra chances that I probably would like back, but it was good to get the hat trick.”
Just before he scored his third goal, Lind had another glorious chance but he mis-fired from the slot.
“It was kind of frustrating because I knew what was at stake,” Lind said, but I came back and scored that same shift. It went off of two guys I think, so it was pretty lucky, but I’ll take what I can get.”
His linemates, Baillie and Dillon Dube, each had two assists.
“It’s a pleasure to play with those two guys,” Lind said. “I just can’t say enough about them. They help me out so much along the way. Baillie, being a 20-year-old, he shows me everything basically.”
Kamloops got to within a goal at 12:14 when left-winger Collin Shirley got in alone and beat goaltender Michael Herringer for his 22nd score this season.
Centre Matt Needham had the Blazers’ other goal, getting his ninth on a power play at 5:16 of the second period.
The Rockets are 5-0-0 against the Blazers this season, with four of the games having been decided by one goal, including one in overtime. Last season, Kelowna was 9-1-0 against Kamloops.
The Blazers were without centre Gage Quinney for a second straight game after he suffered an undisclosed injury during Saturday’s first post-Christmas practice.
The visitors also were without defenceman Dallas Valentine, who left Sunday’s game in the first period after being hit from behind by Kelowna centre Justin Kirkland, who was given a minor penalty. Valentine went to the dressing room and didn’t return.
The Blazers, who felt that Kirkland should have been given a major penalty and a game misconduct, later asked the WHL for supplemental discipline. Richard Doerksen, the WHL’s vice-president, hockey, who handles discipline, reviewed the play and hit Kirkland with a suspension the length of which has yet to be determined.
Valentine, who suffered an undisclosed injury, didn’t play last night. Prior to the game, Jon Keen, the radio voice of the Blazers, tweeted “Valentine out ‘weeks’ according to (head coach) Don Hay.”
The Blazers came frighteningly close to losing another defenceman early in the second period last night as Nolan Kneen was hit from behind by Kelowna defenceman Riley Stadel, who was playing on a forward line. Kneen was helped from the ice, but returned to action late in the period. Stadel was given a major and game misconduct and almost certainly will be suspended.
Needham scored nine seconds into the power play to tie the game, but the Blazers weren’t able to get the lead. The Kamloops power play that was 1-for-5 on Sunday went 1-for-6 in this one.
The Blazers (17-13-4) remain sixth in the 10-team Western Conference as they prepare to play three home games in a four-day stretch. The Victoria Royals will be here Wednesday (7 p.m.) and Friday (2 p.m.), with the Everett Silvertips following them in on Saturday, 7 p.m.
The Rockets (27-9-1) now hold a five-point lead atop the WHL’s overall standings.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 6,223, the Rockets’ first sellout this season. . . . G Dylan Ferguson made his fifth start of the season for Kamloops and was solid, with 20 saves. . . . At the other end, Herringer turned aside 37 shots. . . . Baillie, who leads the WHL points race, had two assists, and now has 61 points. Dillon Dube, the third member of that line, also had two helpers. . . . Kelowna was 0-for-2 on the power play, after going 0-for-1 on Sunday. . . . The Blazers scratched Valentine, Quinney and D Patrik Maier, who is with Slovakia at the World Junior Championship in Helsinki. . . . With Valentine out, the Blazers inserted D Conner McDonald, who was a healthy scratch on Sunday. . . . The Rockets were without F Rourke Chartier (Canada), F Tomas Soustal (Czech Republic) and F Calvin Thurkauf (Switzerland), all of whom are at the WJC, F Rodney Southam (undisclosed injury) and Kirkland. . . . The Rockets had D Cal Foote back in the lineup after he missed Sunday’s game while serving a one-game WHL suspension after he took a headshot major and game misconduct in Saskatoon on Dec. 19. . . . Kamloops F Jake Kryski played in his 100th regular-season game.
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If you haven’t already, visit TheCoachesSite.com for more WHL news and notes.

KBF says:
December 29, 2015 12:04am

Hey, think any tweeking will be done with the Blazers roster wise between now and the trade deadline?

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