The Chilliwack Bruins got a boatload of reinforcements, but it didn’t make a difference on the scoreboard as the good guys dropped a 5-2 road decision Friday night in Kamloops. Roman Horak, Robin Soudek, Brandon Magee, Steven Hodges and Mike Forsyth all checked back into the lineup as the Bruins went searching for two crucial points against a B.C. division rival.
But Chilliwack couldn’t overcome a sluggish start, dropping their fourth straight game to slip a game below .500 at 17-18-2-1.
The Bruins found themselves behind an early eight-ball as Magee took a boarding penalty just 1:50 in. The Blazers cashed in quickly on a goal by Colin Smith, set up by ex-Vancouver Giant J.T. Barnett at 3:14.
Chilliwack took less than 20 seconds to answer on a goal by Steve Oursov. The speedster finished off a feed from Dylen McKinlay at 3:39, notching his third of the year to even the score.
But Kamloops scored the next two to take a 3-1 lead. Smith scored his second of the game at 8:24, an even strength goal set up by recent trade acquisition Thomas Frazee. Jordan DePape got his 15th of the season at 13:39, set up by Philadelphia Flyers prospect Brendan Ranford and Slovakian center Dalibor Bortnak.
Kevin Sundher scored a power play goal, in the final minute to cut the deficit to one.
Goaltenders Lucas Gore (Chilliwack) and Jeff Bosch (Kamloops) settled down in the second period.
Gore had to be particularly good as the Bruins killed off four consecutive minor penalties, including a lengthy five-on-three. His best save came with his team two men down as he robbed Frazee on a hot shot from the slot.
Bosch made his biggest save in the closing minutes of period two. Oursov found himself all alone in front after a nifty feed from linemate Kevin Sundher, but Bosch got the right pad out to thwart the Chilliwack native.
The 20-year-old netminder wasn’t tested a lot, as the Bruins generated just 11 shots through 40 minutes.
Chilliwack managed just seven shots in period three.
Kamloops got the insurance goal 4:18 into the final frame, with Smith notching the hat-trick tally. Dylan Wruck added his 12th of the season, scoring a shorthanded empty netter with 13 seconds remaining to wrap up the scoring.
Three stars were Smith (first), Wruck (second) and Barnett (third).
Chilliwack looks to snap their losing skid Sunday night as they host the Seattle Thunderbirds at Prospera Centre.
Puck drop is 5 p.m.