Mitch Topping of the Chilliwack Bruins keeps the puck away from JT Barnett of the Kamloops Blazers during Saturday night's game at Prospera Centre.

Bruins beat Blazers to bump slump

The Chilliwack Bruins snapped a seven game losing skid Saturday night, downing the Kamloops Blazers 4-3 at Prospera Centre.

In the back half of a home and home against their B.C. division arch-rivals, the Bruins got two goals from Ryan Howse and outstanding goaltending from Lucas Gore to get the win and stay close in the chase for a Western conference playoff spot. Their record now stands at 22-26-2-2, which leaves them 10th in the conference, three points back of Kamloops for the eighth and final post-season berth.

The first period was a bad one for the good guys, who found themselves trailing 2-0 through 20 minutes. The Blazers held a 14-11 edge in shots on goal, opening the scoring just 1:41 in on a goal by Prince George native Dylen Willick.

Thomas Frazee doubled the Kamloops lead at 15:03, notching his 23rd of the season with an assist to defenceman Tyler Hansen.

With Chilliwack’s playoff hopes hanging in the balance and their losing streak in danger of going to eight games, Howse did what great players often do. He took over the game and maybe saved the season.

With a delayed penalty coming up early in period two, Howse worked his way in front of the Blazer net and rifled a shot past Kamloops keeper Jeff Bosch for his 34th of the year, cutting the two-goal deficit in half.

Just over three minutes later, Howse evened the score on a Chilliwack power play. With Blazer blueliner Josh Caron serving two minutes for slashing, Howse again worked his way into the low slot to finish off a nifty feed from Dylen McKinlay, snapping the puck top shelf over the glove of Bosch.

A power play goal was a welcome sight after going 0-for-6 with the man advantage in a 2-1 loss Friday night.

The Chilliwack power play could have done a lot more damage had they been able to cash in on Dalibor Bortnak’s four-minute double minor for high sticking. They could not, and the best chance on the power play belonged to the Blazers.

Colin Smith had an excellent opportunity on a shorthanded two-on-one, but Gore came up with a huge glove stop to keep the score tied at 2-2.

Shots on goal through 40 minutes favoured Kamloops 28-20.

Howse played a role on the third Bruins goal, scoring 43 seconds into the final frame, setting up linemate Roman Horak with a picturesque pass. The Czech import showed off his shot with a top-shelf bullet. His 22nd of the year set a new career high, eclipsing the 21 he tallied as a rookie last season.

The Blazers had a quick response, tying the game just over two minutes later on a goal by seldom-scoring Bernhard Keil. The German winger scored just his second of the season on a harmless looking shot that might have hit the stick of Chilliwack winger Mike Forsyth on its way into the Bruin net.

Sixteen-year-old Brandon Magee was the hero on this night, scoring the game winner at 6:09. Bosch made a highlight reel stop on Magee’s first shot, but the Edmonton native potted the rebound for his eighth of the season, and just his third in his last 21 outings. McKinlay drew the primary assist with another great setup.

The Blazers had their chances to equalize.

Ryan Hanes came within an inch, ringing a shot off the goal-post, and Gore came up with a huge stop in the final minute on a Brendan Ranford deflection.

But the Bruins held on to finally bump the slump.

Chilliwack returns to action Friday night in Kelowna, returning home for games against Kelowna (Saturday) and the Tri-City Americans (Sunday).

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Cat owners in Chilliwack celebrate National Kitten Day

Chilliwack Progress readers share photos of their favourite felines on National Kitten Day

Child falls down Bridal Veil Falls near Chilliwack, crews on scene

An 11-year-old boy fell over the falls about 25 to 30 feet and has suffered a head injury

Foodies flock to drive-thru food truck fest in Chilliwack

The Greater Vancouver Food Truck Festival takes place this weekend at Chilliwack Heritage Park

UPDATE: Four-vehicle collision snarls eastbound highway traffic in Chilliwack

Collision west of Lickman Road on Highway 1 includes three vehicles plus motorcycle

Popular retired UFV therapy dog passes away

Mac the Therapy Dog consoled countless students and staff, as well as wildfire victims

Woman sexually assaulted, robbed near Surrey SkyTrain station: RCMP

Police say the incident happened July 10, just after 11 p.m. near King George SkyTrain station

B.C. Ferries increasing passenger capacity after COVID-19 restrictions

Transport Canada 50-per-cent limit being phased out, no current plans to provide masks

Once-in-a-lifetime comet photographed soaring over Abbotsford

Photographer Randy Small captures Comet NEOWISE in early-morning sky

Amber Alert for two Quebec girls cancelled after bodies found

Romy Carpentier, 6, Norah Carpentier, 11, and their father, Martin Carpentier, missing since Wednesday

Bringing support to Indigenous students and communities, while fulfilling a dream

Mitacs is a nonprofit organization that operates research and training programs

B.C. man prepares to be first to receive double-hand transplant in Canada

After the surgery, transplant patients face a long recovery

Grocers appear before MPs to explain decision to cut pandemic pay

Executives from three of Canada’s largest grocery chains have defended their decision to end temporary wage increases

Man shot dead in east Abbotsford suburbs

Integrated Homicide Investigative Team called to investigate

Most Read