Four assists for Zary as Blazers earn second consecutive win over Victoria

First-place Blazers win again

Connor Zary had four assists Sunday as the first-place Kamloops Blazers peppered the Victoria Royals with more than 50 shots on goal for the second time in three days en route to a 4-3 win in an empty Prospera Place.

After a scoreless first period, Kamloops forward Caedan Bankier opened the scoring 46 seconds into the second with his third goal of the season on a setup from Zary.

Victoria’s Alex Bolshakov beat Blazers goalie Dylan Garand 21 seconds later to even things up.

The game remained 1-1 until 4:45 of the third period, when Logan Stankoven tallied a power-play marker from Orrin Centazzo and Zary to restore the Blazers’ one-goal lead — but not for long.

A pair of goals from Bolshakov and Ty Yoder gave the Royals their first lead of the game midway through the third period.

Josh Pillar and Inaki Baragano scored three minutes apart late in the third period to give Kamloops a 4-3 win — the team’s second straight over the Royals, following a 6-3 contest on Friday at Sandman Centre.

Garand made 16 saves on 19 Royals shots to earn the victory in net. Victoria goaltender Adam Evanoff stopped 56 of 60 Kamloops shots in the loss.

The game was Stankoven's last with the Blazers before heading into quarantine ahead of the IIHF U18 World Championship, which begins later this month in Texas. Stankoven and Team Canada will open the tournament on April 26 against Sweden.

The Blazers are now 6-1 on the pandemic-shortened bubble season, good for top spot in the Western Hockey League’s B.C. Division bubble.

Kamloops is back in action on Wednesday, when they will take on the Prince George Cougars at Sandman Centre. Puck drop is 7 p.m.

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