It was the best Blazers effort of the season from start to finish.
The result? A 4-0 shutout win over the red-hot Kelowna Rockets who saw their six game winning streak come to an end.
So often, a 5-on-3 powerplay can be the crystal ball for how the game will end. If you score, you likely win, if you don't you'll lose. The old adage was bang on again tonight.
The Rockets had back-to-back 5-on-3's early in the 2nd period when three consecutive penalties were called against the Blazers. A couple of goal posts was all the Rockets could muster.
The Blazers went to work later in the period. Three goals in 1:49 span had the ISC rocking as they cheered the Blazers off the ice to end the 2nd period.
Brendan Ranford, Chase Schaber and then Colin Smith all connected to change the whole complexion of the game.
Ranford would add his league leading 19th on a third period powerplay.
Game highlights can be seen here.
Wearing his newly arrived orange Blazer pads and gloves, Jeff Bosch made 23 saves for his 2nd shutout as a Blazer and first on home ice. He was good when he had to be, especially when the game was scoreless for over 36 minutes.
Bosch also debuted his new number - switching from #30 to #31 with the departure of Jon Groenheyde.
The Blazer fans had a fun night. The team gave them a reason to make some noise and they responded in kind.
The Blazer 4-0 victory was their largest margin of victory of the season. Their last eight wins have all been by a single goal.
- Chase Schaber had the "Gordie Howe hat-trick". A goal, an assist and a scrap with the Rockets Spencer Main.
- Ranford's two goals give him 19 on the season - one more then Vancouver's Brendan Gallagher and two more than Chilliwack's Ryan Howse for the league lead.
- Rockets G Adam Brown was pulled for the start of the 3rd period in favour of Jordan Cooke. Brown appeared to hurt himself late in the 2nd period. He did stay in the game to finish off the frame but was a no-go for the third.
- Some interesting comments from Blazer Head Coach Guy Charron post-game. I don't have the exact quote handy but he had a message for the local media. It was to the effect of "we need our media to be more positive and support this team and not beat them down all the time." All too often I think the Blazers feel they don't get a fair shake - especially in the newspaper. The Blazers realize the influence the media has in this market. They wish they could be portrayed a bit more favorable.
The Blazers can help themselves now too. It would be to follow up this effort tomorrow night against the Everett Silvertips. The teams face-off at ISC at 6pm.