A third-period comeback came up short for the Kamloops Blazers on Saturday in the provincial capital as they fell 3-2 to the Victoria Royals.
Fraser Minten and Ryan Hofer were the goal scorers for the Blazers. Teydon Trembecky, Matthew Hodgson and Jake Poole scored for Victoria.
The Royals led 2-0 after 40 minutes when Minten scored 63 seconds into the third to get the Blazers within a goal. Poole restored Victoria’s two-goal lead six minutes later and Hofer answered right back, but that was all the scoring the visitors could muster.
Dylan Ernst made 21 saves on 24 Victoria shots in a losing effort. Braden Holt stopped 24 of 26 Kamloops shots to earn the win in net.
The Blazers scored once on six power-play opportunities. Victoria scored one goal on three chances.
Announced attendance at Save-On Foods Memorial Arena was 4,440.
The loss moves the Blazers to 27-10-4-2 on the season, still comfortably atop the standings of the WHL’s B.C. Division and second in the Western Conference, nine points back of the first-place Portland Winterhawks (33-8-2-1), who overtook the Seattle Thunderbirds (33-8-1-1) on Saturday with a 5-2 win over the T-Birds in Kent, Wash.
The Blazers will be back in action on Wednesday when those same Winterhawks visit Sandman Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.