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Ronning leads Giants past Blazers

Kamloops unable to hang on to late lead
By Gregg Drinnan
November 13, 2015 11:07 P.M.

Ty Ronning had one goal and one assist in 24 games last season.
On Friday night, the Vancouver forward picked up three points in fewer than six minutes — he scored twice in the last three minutes of the third period and set up the winner in OT — as the Giants beat the visiting Kamloops Blazers, 4-3.
The Blazers (8-8-1) came in riding a five-game winning streak and appeared to have this one wrapped up with a 3-1 lead and time winding down.
However, Ronning cut the deficit to one at 17:39 when he caromed a shot from the Kamloops’ goal line off Blazers forward Jake Kryski and into the net.
Then, with 8.5 seconds showing on the clock, Ronning, the son of former NHLer Cliff Ronning, snapped a high wrist shot past goaltender Connor Ingram’s catching mitt.
Both goals came with Vancouver goaltender Daniel Wapple on the bench for the extra attacker.
In the 3-on-3 overtime period, Wapple made a nice pad save on Kryski shortly before Ronning and Trevor Cox took the puck into the offensive zone. Ronning faked out defenceman Ondrej Vala and got centre Matt Needham to go to the ice in an attempt to block a pass. Ronning, who has 17 points in 19 games this season, then was able to slide the puck across to Cox, who had only to chip it into the open net.
Just like that the Giants, who had been on the brink of a 10th straight loss, had their fifth victory of the season. Vancouver, now 5-10-4, was 0-7-2 in its previous nine games. In fact, the Giants went into the night with a 1-9-4 record since opening the season 3-1-0.
The goal was Cox’s fifth of the season but just his first with the Giants. It came in his first game with Vancouver, which acquired him from the Medicine Hat Tigers on Oct. 28. Cox, who finished second in the scoring race last season, with 109 points, hadn’t played since Oct. 9 when he suffered a broken hand in a fight with Jaeger White of the Lethbridge Hurricanes. He was cleared to return to game action Friday afternoon.
The 5-foot-8 Cox started on something of a Smurf line, alongside Carter Popoff (5-foot-8) and Ronning (5-foot-9).
The Blazers were in good shape going into the third period, what with a 25-20 edge in shots and a 2-1 lead on the scoreboard.
That lead became 3-1 at 4:14 of the third when right-winger Deven Sideroff struck for a shorthanded goal, skating down the right side and beating Wapple to the stick side.
That was Sideroff’s second goal of the game and third of the season. Quinn Benjafield had the Blazers’ other goal.
Vancouver defenceman Matt Barberis had the home side’s other goal, on a first-period power play that tied the score 1-1. The Vancouver power play had been in an 0-for-31 drought prior to that goal.
Wapple finished up with 38 saves, 10 more than Ingram.
The Blazers next play on Sunday when they entertain the Prince George Cougars, who are 9-7-1 after beating the visiting Edmonton Oil Kings, 4-2, last night. The Cougars and Oil Kings are scheduled to meet again tonight in Prince George. That means Sunday’s game will be the Cougars’ third in 48 hours, while the Blazers will have enjoyed Saturday off.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance in Vancouver was 4,542. . . . Vancouver was 1-for-5 on the PP; the Blazes were 0-for-2. . . . The Blazers scratched F Spencer Bast, D Nolan Kneen, D Patrik Maier and F Jesse Zaharichuk. . . . The Giants are carrying four 20-year-olds — Cox, Wapple, Popoff and F Elliott Peterson, who sat out this one. They now have two weeks to get down to three. . . . Sunday’s game at the Sandman Centre is to begin at 6 p.m. . . . F Landon Quinney, the younger brother of Kamloops F Gage Quinney, scored his first WHL goal last night to help his Moose Jaw Warriors to a 4-2 victory over the visiting Lethbridge Hurricanes.
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There’s more WHL news with Taking Note at TheCoachesSite.com.

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