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The Kamloops Blazers desperately needed to bounce back after an 8-3 loss to the Quebec Remparts to open the Memorial Cup on Friday.
They did just that at Sandman Centre on Sunday afternoon, hitting double digits in the goal column en route to a 10-2 blowout victory over the Peterborough Petes.
Logan Stankoven led the way with five points and earned himself Player of the Game honours for his efforts.
It was all Blazers from the get go, as the tournament hosts scored early and often in the statement win over the OHL champions.
Ryan Michael got the party started just over five minutes into the game before Fraser Menton and Ashton Ferster extended the Kamloops lead to 3-0 before the first period was up.
The intermission didn’t cool the momentum in the slightest, as Matthew Seminoff tapped in a back-door pass on the powerplay to make it 4-0 just seconds into the middle frame.
Dylan Sydor joined the party less than three minutes later and that chased Peterborough goalie Michael Simpson from the game.
But backup Liam Sztuska did not fare much better against a fired up Blazers squad.
Logan Stankoven and Jakub Demek welcomed him to the game with two more quick goals and suddenly it was 7-0 for the hosts.
An Avery Hayes goal, his second of the tournament, finally got the Petes on the board, but it was far too little, far too late.
Up 35-18 in the shots department after 40 minutes, the Blazers continued to pour it on and seemingly take out their frustration from Friday’s loss.
Connor Levis wired one home early in the period and Seminoff scored his second of the game, third of the tournament, on a power play minutes later to make it 9-1.
Kamloops hit double digits with just over eight minutes to play courtesy of Ryan Hofer’s first goal of the season.
Unfortunately, the blowout win was slightly tarnished just over a minute later as a scary incident unfolded on the Sandman Centre ice.
Blazers defenceman Kyle Masters was the recipient of an awkward hit from Petes forward Brennan Othmann, which sent the 20-year-old Minnesota Wild prospect backwards into the corner boards.
He stayed down on the ice for several minutes until the stretcher was brought out and he was carted away, giving the fans a quick thumbs up before he disappeared into the tunnel.
According to the TSN broadcast, Masters was taken to Royal Inland Hospital for assessment. The game quietly finished 10-2 thanks to a Petes goal in the final seconds.
classy by Brennan to skate over to Kyle Masters while he was being stretchered off after Othmann’s awkward hit on him :( hope he’s okay 🙏🏻🙏🏻🙏🏻 pic.twitter.com/Zts1m75v7c— jill (@chriskrelder) May 29, 2023
With a satisfying and vital bounce-back win in their pocket, the Blazers will get the next two days off before finishing up the round-robin schedule against their leaguemates from Seattle on Wednesday.
If the Petes lose to the Remparts a day earlier, the Blazers will have already clinched a spot in at least the semifinal before they take the ice against the Thunderbirds.
However, if the Petes bounce back and take down the QMJHL champs, the Blazers will potentially need a win to avoid having to play a tiebreaker on Thursday.
Monday will see Seattle and Quebec do battle to see who stays undefeated and gets the inside track on a bye to next Sunday’s final. That Quebec-Peterborough showdown is scheduled for Tuesday.
Thumbnail photo courtesy of the Canadian Hockey League.