The Seattle Thunderbirds scored three unanswered goals and held off a late onslaught Tuesday at Sandman Centre to end the Kamloops Blazers’ season with a 3-2 win in Game 7 of the WHL Western Conference Championship.
Fraser Minten opened the scoring for the Blazers at 8:34 of the first period but Seattle’s Jared Davidson made it 1-1 before the end of the first.
Davidson scored again early in the second and Henrik Rybinsk made it 3-1 with five minutes to play in the middle frame.
With an empty net and an extra attacker, Daylan Kuefler beat T-Birds goalie Thomas Milic with a little more than a half-dozen seconds left in the third to get the Blazers within a goal, but that was all the offence the home team would muster.
Dylan Garand made 34 saves on 37 Seattle shots in the loss. Milic stopped 33 of 35 Kamloops shots to earn the win in net.
The Thunderbirds will go on to face the Edmonton Oil Kings in the WHL Championship series, which will get underway on Friday in Edmonton.
The loss caps off a successful season for the Blue and Orange, who earned their third consecutive B.C. Division title.
The Blazers were named last week as hosts of the 2023 Kia Memorial Cup.