Newcomers Toporowski, Englot lead Blazers to 5-1 win in P.G.

Blazers win big in P.G.

Luke Toporowski scored twice and added an assist Friday in Prince George, leading the Kamloops Blazers to a 5-1 win over the Cougars.

Daylan Kuefler, Logan Stankoven and Reese Belton were the other goal scorers for Kamloops. Caden Brown scored the lone Prince George goal.

The game was Toporowski’s first the with Blazers. The overage forward was acquired in a trade with the Spokane Chiefs on WHL trade deadline day on Monday.

He didn’t take long to make an impact. Toporowski opened the scoring three minutes into the first period on Friday. He assisted on Stankoven’s goal mid-way through the second, then scored his second three minutes later.

Fellow newcomer Drew Englot, a 19-year-old forward acquired Monday in a trade with the Regina Pats, also had a big night, tallying two assists and winning 15 of 17 faceoffs.

Toporowski was playing on the first line alongside Stankoven and Caedan Bankier. Englot was centring Kuefler and Belton on the third line.

Dylan Garand stopped 31 of 32 Prince George shots to earn the win in net. Cougars goalie Tyler Brennan made 48 saves on 53 Kamloops shots.

The Cougars were playing with a short bench, dressing 14 skaters in front of 1,847 fans at CN Centre.

The win moves the Blazers to 23-11-1-0 on the season, good for top spot in the WHL’s B.C. Division standings — seven points up on the Kelowna Rockets (18-10-1-3), who are idle this weekend on a COVID-19 pause.

The Cougars fall to 17-18-1-1 on the season, four points behind Kelowna in third place in the division.

Both teams will meet again on Saturday, this time at Sandman Centre. Puck drop is slated for 7 p.m.

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