Blazers have tough luck

By Jamie Harkins

January 25, 2018 3:52 PM

  Blazer Kohl Gregoire wires a shot on the Storm net. JAMIE HARKINS LLS PHOTO

Tough bounces have seemed to dog the Lloydminster Sobeys midget AA Blazers lately.
They spoiled a strong effort in a 4-2 loss to the GPAC Peaceland Directional Drilling Storm (5-14-4) at the Servus Sports Centre on Saturday night.
The result marked the team’s ninth straight defeat and 12th in a row where two points in the Northern Alberta Hockey League standings failed to materialize.
“We’re getting shots,” said Blazers netminder Eric Cook, who made 36 saves against the Storm.
“We were pretty even in shots this game and that’s a plus for us, but it’s just the little things.”
Cook made a couple of key saves early to battle back an opening push from the Storm only to fall victim to a tricky deflection off a leg, stick or skate in front on a seemingly harmless centering attempt by Rylee Hebert from behind the net at the 4:25 mark.
Blazers leading scorer Chase McAllister made up for the goal a little over a minute later by tipping a Kale Hancock point shot past Storm goaltender Ben Sigurdson.
Devin Bielecki put the Blazers ahead 2-1 just past the midway point of the middle frame on a rush down the wing, where the centre wired an initial shot on net before scooping up his rebound and swatting it in.
Herbert tied the game with a marker off a rebound in front during a sustained rally shortly after the Blazers’ goal.
McAllister had a great chance to put his team ahead once again early in the third period after receiving a pass behind coverage, but Sigurdson proved up to the challenge by firing out his pad on an attempt at a low corner.
Cook stopped a Storm break by Jacksyn Clark with a diving poke check a minute later that unfortunately put him out of position to save the follow-up by Chase Korroll.
Cody Quinton made it 4-2 Storm with a power-play goal at the 5:19 mark of the third.
Blazers left wing Jake Anderson had a chance to bring the score within one a few minutes later only to fire the puck off the post off a short-handed rush down the wing.
“Usually we’re pretty good in the third,” said Cook. “We pushed back. We started hitting a little bit more and got a little more competitive. We’ve got to stay out of the box and go from that.”
The Blazers (3-18-2) head onto the road for their next three games starting with dates against the Strathcona ACT Warriors (10-9-2) and Wainwright Polar Kings (11-5-6) this weekend.
“We’ve got to keep things simple and get the power play going,” said Cook. “We’ve got a couple of winnable games coming up. We’ll see if we can pull through.”

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