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WHL Roundup:Blazers gain ground on Rockets in WHL standings with win over Giants

Thursday, 02.14.2013 / 2:44 AM / News

The Canadian Press

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WHL Roundup:Blazers gain ground on Rockets in WHL standings with win over Giants

The Kamloops Blazers still have their sights set on first place.

The Blazers moved to within five points of the idle Kelowna Rockets in the race for top spot in the Western Hockey League's B.C. Division Wednesday with a 4-1 triumph over the basement-dwelling Vancouver Giants.

Joel Edmundson, Colin Smith, Matt Needham and Kale Kessy scored for the Blazers (38-15-5) with a 22-save performance from Cole Cheveldave.

Rookie defenceman Arvin Atwal scored the lone Vancouver (14-43-0) goal when his blast from the point beat a screened Cheveldave at 2:01 of the second.

Kamloops — which has now won eight of its last nine contests — still has five games left against their arch-rival Rockets, beginning this weekend with a home-and-home series starting Friday in Kamloops. Two of the remaining five matches between the teams are in Kelowna and three are in the Okanagan city.

Edmundson, one of the Blazers' key defencemen who was returning from a four-game suspension, got the visitors off to a good start when he opened the scoring at 12:29 of the first period, taking a breakaway pass from fellow defenceman Landon Cross to beat Giants' netminder Jared Rathjen with a shot through the five hole.

Needham and Smith added goals in the second period for the Blazers while Kessy, an ex-Giant, finished off the Kamloops scoring with the only marker of the final 20 minutes.

Rathjen took the loss in Vancouver's net as he faced 28 Kamloops shots. Cheveldave improved his record to 28-12-1-1.

The Blazers scored on one of their four power-play chances while the Giants went 0 for 6 with the extra man.

Elsewhere in the WHL it was: Medicine Hat 3 Brandon 0; Swift Current 1 Prince Albert 3; Victoria 1 Kootenay 5; Prince George 1 Red Deer 4 and Calgary 3 Spokane 4.

Tigers 3 Wheat Kings 0

At Brandon, Man., Cam Lanigan made 32 saves as Medicine Hat (29-26-3) blanked the Wheat Kings (20-34-4).

Raiders 3 Broncos 1

Prince Albert, Sask., Leon Draisaitl scored twice as the Raiders (32-21-5) topped Swift Current (27-25-6).

Ice 5 Royals 1

At Cranbrook, B.C., Jaedon Descheneau scored and added two assists as Kootenay (27-28-2) skated past Victoria (32-20-4).

Rebels 4 Cougars 1

At Red Deer, Alta., Rhyse Dieno scored twice and Patrik Bartosak made 32 saves as the Rebels (30-22-6) defeated Prince George (17-32-8).

Chiefs 4 Hitmen 3

At Spokane, Wash., Todd Fiddler's third-period goal stood as the winner in the Chiefs (33-22-2) victory over Calgary (37-17-4).

(With files from the Brandon Sun, Red Deer Advocate)

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