By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
That was the sound of the Kamloops Blazers’ franchise-record 14-game winning streak coming to an end as they were beaten 3-0 by the Rockets in Kelowna’s Prospera Place on Thursday night.
The Blazers set a franchise record on Tuesday when they beat the host Everett Silvertips 4-3 in a shootout. The record had been shared by the 1986-87 and 1989-90 Blazers.
The Blazers (16-1-1) were the last team in the 60-team CHL to lose a game in regulation time. They remain the CHL’s No. 1-ranked team for a third straight week.
“There are no excuses,” Blazers forward Tim Bozon told Doyle Potenteau of the Kelowna Daily Courier. “We have to be prepared for every game, but five games in seven nights is pretty tough. We knew that Kelowna would play us hard; they’re a team that wants to beat us every time and we want to beat them every time. We weren’t prepared for the game.”
Last night, Kelowna goaltender Jordon Cooke stopped 19 shots in putting up his third shutout this season.
The Rockets (8-6-1), who are 5-1-1 in their last seven games, got goals from forwards Tyrell Goulbourne and Cody Fowlie, neither of whom has been known for his offensive contribution.
Goulbourne, an 18-year-old from Edmonton, scored the game’s first goal, beating goaltender Cole Cheveldave at 12:38 of the second period. That was Goulbourne’s first point in 12 games this season. He had six goals in 63 games last season. This was, in fact, Goulborne’s first goal in 29 regular-season games.
“We knew what we had to do against this team; we knew how to beat them and we knew what we needed to do,” Goulbourne told Potenteau. “We needed to work hard, wear their defence down. We
stayed persistent on their defence and got some good goals.”
When it came to his goal, Goulbourne told Potenteau his “head was buried in my feet and it was a lucky shot. I picked the puck up on the wall and kept my feet moving towards the net. I kinda saw a little bit of an opening for me to sneak in, so I shot and it went in.
“(Cheveldave) is a short goalie and our coaches were telling us to go high on this goalie. I was just trying to get a good shot off and keep it high.”
Fowlie, a 20-year-old, scored Kelowna’s last two goals, his first goals in 12 games this season. He got his goals at 3:22 and 19:14 of the third period. From Airdrie, Alta., Fowlie was picked up from the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers a couple of weeks ago. He had joined the Vipers after being released by the Everett Silvertips. Fowlie was playing in his fifth game with the Rockets.
While the Rockets hadn’t played since Sunday, the Blazers were playing their fifth game in seven nights.
“You know what? You go into every game thinking you’re going to find a way (to win),” said Kamloops head coach Guy Charron. “Tonight, basically, we were out of gas . . . but I give credit to the opposing team. They stuck with a plan, they were physical and in a fashion where they weren’t going to be penalized. It made it tough for us to come back.”
Tonight, the Blazers will make it six games in eight nights when they meet the visiting Prince George Cougars. Game time at Interior Savings Centre is 7 o’clock.
JUST NOTES: Attendance was 5,261 . . . Cheveldave, now 11-1-0, stopped 23 shots. . . . Kamloops D Sam Grist left after the first period with an injury and may not play tonight. . . . Kamloops F Colin Smith had his 17-game point streak ended. . . . The Blazers had won nine straight road games. . . . The Blazers scratched F Mitch Friesen (undisclosed), D Ryan Rehill, D Josh Connolly and F Brayden Gelsinger. . . . Among Kelowna’s scratches were veteran D Mitchell Chapman (ankle) and former Blazers F J.T. Barnett (knee). . . . Kevin Prendergast, who is Hockey Canada’s head scout, was at the game. He is preparing a list of players to be invited to the selection camp held by Canada’s national junior team early in December. . . . Blazers F JC Lipon, who leads the WHL in goals and points, was named the WHL’s player of the month for October. . . . Former Blazers G Cam Lanigan, who now is with the Medicine Hat Tigers, was named goaltender of the month. Lanigan, who started the season with the Portland Winterhawks, was 6-1-0 with a 1.80 GAA last month.
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