The Prince George Cougars opened their pre-season schedule with a 7-1 setback to the Kamloops Blazers on Friday afternoon at the Langley Events Centre.
It was a young Cougars line up, with several prospects making their WHL debuts. One returnee in the line-up was Matéj Toman who scored the Cougars’ only goal, early in the second period on the power-play. Isaiah DiLaura was busy in the crease, turning aside 29 of 36 shots.
Two veterans led the way for the Blazers as Zane Franklin had a pair of goals and Orrin Centazzo finished with three points. Rayce Ramsay picked up the win in net for the Blazers, kicking out 26 of 27 shots.
The second period was the turning point, as the Blazers scored four goals on 14 shots to pull away. Kamloops led 2-0 after 20-minutes on goals by Franklin and Kobe Mohr and 6-1 after two periods. Franklin added another in the second as did Centazzo, Matthew Seminoff, and Reese Belton. Sean Strange finished off the scoring in the third period for Kamloops.
Prior to the game the Cougars announced the signing of forward Fischer O’Brien (’03) and defenceman Ethan McColm (’02) to WHL Standard Player Agreements. O’Brien, the younger brother of former Cougar Brogan O’Brien, played for the Cariboo Cougars last season. McColm played Midget AAA in his home province of Manitoba a year ago. Fischer and O’Brien are the third and fourth players to sign this week, following defencemen Joe Kennedy (’01) and Aiden Reeves (’02).
The Cougars continue their pre-season schedule tomorrow against the Vancouver Giants at 7:00 pm. Then they travel to Kelowna on Sunday for a late afternoon clash against the Rockets at 5:30 pm.
Blazers [1-0] Kobe Mohr from Matthew Seminoff and Mats Lindgren 2:15
Blazers [2-0] Zane Franklin from Orrin Centazzo and Logan Stankoven 6:40
Blazers [3-0] Matthew Seminoff from Trevor Thurston and Logan Bairos 2:14
Blazers [4-0] Zane Franklin from Logan Stankoven and Orrin Centtazo 8:02
Cougars [4-1] Matéj Toman 9:58 (power-play)
Blazers [5-1] Orrin Centazzo from Sean Strange (short-handed) 14:55
Blazers [6-1] Reese Belton from Caden Bankier and Riley Ginnell 19:17
Blazers [7-1] Sean Strange from Logan Stankoven and Caden Bankier 10:18