A three-point night for 17-year-old phenom Connor Bedard was not enough to get the Regina Pats into the win column Wednesday at Sandman Centre, where the Kamloops Blazers erupted for seven second-period goals en route to a 9-3 win.
A sellout crowd of 5,544 was on hand to catch Bedard’s first — and maybe only — WHL visit to the Tournament Capital. He finished the night with two goals and one assist, as well as nine shots on goal.
Matthew Seminoff, Logan Stankoven, Fraser Minten (2), Emmitt Finnie, Caedan Bankier (2), Connor Levis and Ashton Ferster were the goal scorers for the Blazers. Alexander Suzdalev scored the other Regina goal.
The Blazers led 2-1 after 20 minutes when the floodgates opened. Eight goals were tallied in the second — seven by the Blazers and one for Regina.
Bedard’s second goal of the night — a pretty one at 11:39 of the third period — was the only scoring of the final frame.
Five Blazers finished the night with multiple points. Stankoven led the way with one goal and three assists, followed by Minten and Bankier (2G, 1A apiece), Logan Bairos (3A) and Seminoff (1G, 1A).
Dylan Ernst was solid in net for the Blazers, stopping 33 of 36 Regina shots en route to his 11th win of the season. Matthew Kieper made 14 saves on 23 Kamloops shots before he was replaced by Drew Sim late in the second period. Sim was perfect on 10 shots in relief.
Kamloops product Luke Bateman, who patrols the blue line for the Pats, finished the night -3 with one shot on goal and two penalty minutes. Merritt twins Corbin and Jaxsin Vaughan were both held off the scoresheet for the Pats.
The win moves the Blazers to 12-5-3-1 on the season, back into top spot in the WHL’s B.C. Division — two points ahead of the Prince George Cougars (13-10-0-0). With the loss, the Pats fall to 12-12-1-1.
The Blazers will host the Vancouver Giants (9-10-2-2) on Friday at Sandman Centre before heading to Langley on Saturday for a rematch.