It's a Sunday afternoon and the Blazers are now in a watch and wait mode. This after a hard fought scoreless 65 minute game in Kelowna last night as the Blazers left it in the hands of the shootout.
Both teams were 4-1 in shootouts this season but Kelowna's two goals to just the one from Thomas Frazee gave the Rockets the two points. The single point keeps the Blazers playoff hopes alive as they will now hope for a little help on the scoreboard.
Tonight, Prince George finishes up a three-game-in-three night stretch in Tri-City against the Americans. A PG win would put them out of reach for the Blazers with next weekend's home-and-home set between the two teams.
The Blazers have closed within two points of the struggling Everett Silvertips. The 'Tips have lost seven in a row after falling 2-1 on home ice to Portland. Everett does have two games in hand and will make up one of those games Wednesday when they play in Tri City.
Everett closes off the season playing three games next weekend - all on the road, with stops in Portland, Chilliwack and Vancouver.
Let's not forget about Seattle. They hold two games in hand on the Blazers and are two points back. They host Kelowna Wednesday before playing three games in the final weekend at Spokane, vs Portland and vs Tri-City.
Take that information as you will. The Blazers need to win both games next weekend and look for some help from other teams in the process. To quote Lloyd Christmas in the movie Dumb and Dumber "so you're sayin' there's a chance..."
Western Conference, take note. I like the Kelowna Rockets chances to make some playoff noise. They are playing a really good style of game right now. They will get forwards Colton Sissons and Brett Bulmer off injury to add some scoring punch. Throw in G Adam Brown who is playing his best of the year and the game-breaking ability of Tyson Barrie and the Rockets could be a force in the playoffs.
Do they have the horses to compete with the likes of Portland, Spokane and Tri-City?
Kelowna Rockets General Manager, Governor and owner Bruce Hamilton joined our broadcast for the 2nd intermission. He talked a little about the on-going situation in Chilliwack. As the Chairman of the Board of Governors he didn't believe the sale of the Bruins was a "done deal". He says WHL Commissioner Ron Robison is working closely with the Bruins ownership group to try and come to a resolution.
He also feels too much has been played out in the media and it's best if they can resolve the situation in confidence.
Hamilton did admit Victoria is an attractive market and have shown they will support major junior hockey. Like the league's stance, he doesn't believe in further expansion into 23 or 24 teams.
How about Dan De Palma? The Blazers goaltending consultant made the trip with the team to Kelowna last night and saddled up on our broadcast for color commentary on our Radio NL broadcast.
Goaltenders do make for great game analyzers. He was outstanding. Perhaps it was fitting that both goaltenders posted shutouts through 65 minutes.
Blazer F Brendan Ranford didn't make the trip last night after getting into an altercation with a WHL linesman Friday night at ISC. He's awaiting further word from the WHL. With two crucial games left in the regular season will the Blazers have to make the playoffs in order to see him back this season?
We will find out likely Tuesday what the verdict is.
The heart and determination award for the Blazers could easily go to JC Lipon this season. He's battled a bad ankle for the last couple months. Last night he played through a shoulder injury after hurting it Tuesday against Tri-City.
The Blazers should be fresh for their final two games of the regular season. They will not play a mid-week game for the first time since mid-November not counting the Christmas break.
More blogging later this week...