Blazers cruise to 8-3 win in front of sellout Sandman Centre crowd

Blazers steamroll Cougars

Sophomore centre Fraser Minten scored a pair of power play goals on Saturday night as the Kamloops Blazers laid a licking on the visiting Prince George Cougars — the first live WHL regular-season action in front of Sandman Centre fans in nearly 600 days

The Blazers took a five-goal lead and never looked back, skating to an 8-3 win over the Cougars in front of an announced crowd of 2,957 — a sellout under current pandemic restrictions.

Minten opened the scoring with his first of the year on the power play less than four minutes into the first period, on a set up from highly touted Vancouver Canucks prospect Viktor Persson and fellow blue liner Dylan Sydor.

Logan Stankoven went coast to coast at 14:56 of the first period and beat Prince George netminder Tyler Brennan to make it a 2-0 game.

Caedan Bankier, Daylan Kuefler and Marko Stacha scored for the home team within a three-minute stretch early in the second period, chasing Brennan from the Cougars net.

Prince George got a pair back before the second intermission, Jonny Hooker and Ethan Samson each besting Dylan Garand to find the back of the Kamloops net.

Minten tallied his second of the night at 1:13 of the third period and Tye Spencer restored the five-goal lead with his second of the season four minutes later.

Some rough stuff midway through the third saw four players sent to the locker room — Mats Lindgren and Nick McCarry for Kamloops, and Samson and Ryker Singer for Prince George.

Craig Armstrong scored for the Cougars on a power play late in the third period to make it four-goal game, but an unassisted marker from Stankoven 30 seconds later made it an 8-3 final.

Garand made 32 saves on 35 Prince George shots for the win, his second of the year. Brennan allowed five goals on 25 Kamloops shots to take the loss, while Ty Young stopped 16 of the 19 pucks he saw in relief.

The tilt was the first regular-season Blazers home game in front of fans since March 6, 2020 — a span of 582 days.

The Blazers, now 2-0 on the young season, are back in action on Tuesday and Wednesday in a pair of midweek games on the Island against the Victoria Royals, who are 1-1 on the year.

The Blazers next home game will be on Oct. 22, when the Vancouver Giants are slated to visit Sandman Centre.

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