Daily News Sports Reporter
The Kamloops Blazers exploded for five third-period goals Friday night as they beat the Chilliwack Bruins 8-3 before 370 fans at the Art Holding Memorial Arena in Chase.
It was the first game of the exhibition season for both teams. They are to meet again tonight, 7 o’clock, in Mission.
“The effort was excellent,” Kamloops head coach Guy Charron said. “We played hard. The kids played well. I was really pleased with our young players. They battled their hearts out.”
Bernhard Keil, the Blazers’ lone selection in the 2010 CHL import draft, scored twice, once shorthanded, and set up another goal. Sophomore forwards Rhyse Dieno and JC Lipon each scored once, as did newcomers Lyndon Martell, Aspen Sterzer and Landon Cross. Sophomore forward Colin Smith added two helpers.
Dieno, who didn’t score in 16 games last season, had four goals in Tuesday’s intrasquad game.
“That’s the kind of thing he has to do to make an impact on this team,” Charron said. “Everybody has to raise their games and they’ll get plenty of opportunities during the exhibition games.”
Chase Souto, a 16-year-old forward from Yorba Linda, Calif., didn’t score, but was feisty and got into a scrap with Blair Wentworth, an 18-year-old veteran from Calgary.
“As a 16-year-old, Souto held his ground,” Charron said. “He was a good presence for us.”
Veteran defenceman Josh Caron had the Blazers’ other goal and was in the game’s only other scrap, with forward Tim Traber.
Defenceman Corey Fienhage of the Blazers drew three assists.
Kamloops goaltender Jon Groenheyde went the distance, stopping 30 shots.
“He played well,” Charron said. “There were times where we were shaky in our end and he was able to make the saves. There are no complaints with his play tonight.”
Kamloops native Lucas Gore started in goal for the Bruins and stopped 23 of 26 shots. Cole Holowenko, a 17-year-old from Penticton, finished up, stopping 18 of 23 shots.
JUST NOTES: G Troy Trombley, the 16-year-old from Sherwood Park, Alta., will start for the Blazers tonight in Mission. . . . The Blazers dressed 10 veterans; the Bruins dressed nine. . . . Next weekend, the Blazers go home-and-home with the Kelowna Rockets. They’ll play at Interior Savings Centre on Friday and in the Little Apple the next night.