The Kamloops Blazers helped themselves on Friday night, and they also received some help.
For starters, the Blazers went into Everett and beat the Silvertips, 3-2 in OT, at Xfinity Arena. Winger Deven Sideroff won
it with his 18th goal of the season, at 1:25 of extra time.
The Blazers (28-24-9) had lost their previous three games (0-2-1) and went into the night hanging on to the 10-team Western Conference’s last playoff spot by two points over the Tri-City Americans.
Tri-City spent last night at home, where it dropped a 4-2 decision to the Seattle Thunderbirds. As well, the Prince George Cougars went into Spokane and beat the Chiefs, 6-0.
So when the dust cleared, the Blazers held a four-point lead over the Americans. At the same time, Kamloops is one point behind the Portland Winterhawks, who were 4-3 OT losers to the host Red Deer Rebels, and Spokane, who are tied for the conference’s first wild-card spot and also are tied for third place in the U.S. Division.
The Blazers, who have 11 games remaining, are fourth in the B.C. Division, five points behind the Cougars.
The Blazers returned home immediately after the game. They will entertain the Vancouver Giants tonight, 7 o’clock, and the Seattle Thunderbirds on Sunday, 6 p.m. The Giants, who have eight games left, are 12 points behind the Blazers.
In Everett, the Blazers got off to a 2-0 lead, only to see the U.S. Division-leading Silvertips come back in the third period.
Forwards Matt Revel, at 17:44 of the first period, and Quinn Benjafield, at 14:32 of the second, staked the visitors to that lead.
Everett’s Carson Stadnyk scored a power-play goal at 6:55 of the third and Remi Laurencelle tied it at 19:29 with goaltender Mario Petit on the bench for an extra attacker.
Laurencelle thought he had scored at 2:02 of the first period, only to have the goal disallowed because of a teammate being in the Kamloops crease.
Kamloops goaltender Connor Ingram had yet another strong outing, finishing with 34 saves, 10 more than Petit.
JUST NOTES: The announced attendance was 4,612. . . . Kamloops was 0-for-1 on the power play; Everett was 1-for-3. . . . The Silvertips won the season series, 3-0-1; the Blazers were 1-2-1. . . . D Dawson Davidson had two assists for Kamloops. . . . The Blazers scratched F Matt Needham, who served a one-game WHL suspension, F Spencer Bast and D Nolan Kneen. . . . D Noah Juulsen, a first-round selection by the Montreal Canadiens in the NHL’s 2015 draft, was among Everett’s scratches. . . . The victory was Don Hay’s 200th as head coach of the Blazers. He trails only Ken Hitchcock (291). Of course, Hay’s 668 WHL head-coaching victories are second only to the retired Ken Hodge (742) in WHL history.
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