By GREGG DRINNAN
Daily News Sports Editor
The Kamloops Blazers and Chilliwack Bruins will meet six more times this season, but not until Jan. 7.
Perhaps feelings may have cooled by then.
The Blazers took it on the chin, 6-1, in Chilliwack in a Saturday night game during which they took 99 of 143 penalty minutes and lost forwards Jordan DePape and Chase Souto to injury.
The loss, their third in a row, dropped the Blazers’ record to 1-3-0-0. They return home to face the Spokane Chiefs on Wednesday. Game time at Interior Savings Centre is 7 p.m.
The game in Chilliwack, scheduled to begin at 7 p.m., was more than an hour late in starting. The WHL office said an “ice maintenance accident” caused the delay.
And it took almost three hours to complete the game between two teams that obviously don’t like each other. Referees Jeff Ingram and Colby Smith handed out 42 penalties, with 26 of those going to the Blazers.
The Blazers were without defenceman Linden Saip, who has been suspended — length to be determined — by the WHL for an unpenalized hit on Silvertips forward Clayton Cumiskey in Everett on Friday night. Referee Pat Smith chose not to penalize Saip; however, Cumiskey didn’t return and the Silvertips requested supplemental discipline.
The Blazers on Sunday were preparing videos as they pondered whether to ask for supplemental discipline against three Chilliwack players. Kamloops general manager Craig Bonner said he “will be reviewing” the situation today.
Kamloops head coach Guy Charron said two of the hits were from behind — defenceman Tyler Stahl on DePape and forward Blair Wentworth on Souto. In another instance, the Blazers maintain that forward Brendan Persley left his feet and led with an elbow as he hit defenceman Brady Gaudet.
DePape left the game in the second period with a shoulder injury. He will be reassessed today and is questionable for Wednesday’s game. Souto has a concussion, so will be out for a week or longer. Gaudet wasn’t injured.
After the hits on DePape and Souto, centre Colin Smith and defenceman Bronson Maschmeyer instigated retaliatory fights.
“We had two instigators called but it was teammates wanting to look after their teammates after a bad hit,” Charron said. “And who ends up in the penalty box? It’s the guy that jumped in to help his teammate. The guy who made the hit gets nothing.
“The system is screwed up. The fight is still a very big part of entertaining in our game. The hit from behind is what you want to eliminate.”
The Bruins scratched defenceman Zach Habscheid, apparently for precautionary reasons. Souto had decked him with a straight right during a fight late in the Bruins’ 5-2 victory in Kamloops on Sept. 25. So perhaps it was no surprise Saturday when Wentworth and Souto fought at 3:21 of the first period.
Charron, however, wouldn’t say the two scraps were related.
“I’m not going to speculate on it,” he said. “I don’t have proof of anything.”
The Bruins ended up going 5-for-15 on the power play; the Blazers were 0-for-8.
The Blazers, who have had problems with discipline in recent seasons, now have 149 penalty minutes in four games. Only the Vancouver Giants (169) have more and they have played two more games than have the Blazers.
Kamloops was coming off a 4-2 loss in Everett on Friday, a game Charron said was “one of our better performances on the road.”
The big problem, he said, is “we can’t score right now.”
“That’s the bottom line,” he continued. In Everett, he added, “we had 17 chances; they had nine. And we lose the game 4-2.”
In Chilliwack, Charron said, “it was all power play. We played the whole third period shorthanded.”
Ryan Howse scored twice for the Bruins (2-1-0-0), giving him seven goals in three games, while Roman Horak also scored twice. Defenceman Brandon Manning and Persley also scored. Dalibor Bortnak scored for the Blazers, ruining Lucas Gore’s shutout bid at 16:44 of the third period.
Gore stopped 30 shots, five fewer than Jeff Bosch of the Blazers. Bosch, 20, was making his Kamloops debut. He was acquired from the Moose Jaw Warriors on Sept. 17 but an ankle injury slowed him down.
“It was a tough situation for him; we were shorthanded the whole game,” Charron said. “I have no qualms about his performance.”
JUST NOTES: The Blazers scratched D Josh Caron (collarbone), Saip (WHL suspension), F Bernhard Keil and F Lyndon Martell. . . . D Corey Fienhage, D Bronson Maschmeyer, Bortnak, Keil, D Austin Madaisky and C Chase Schaber spent Sunday on Vancouver’s east side taking part in Project EDGE (Educate, Develop, Goals, Excel). The players, along with Bonner, got a taste of life on the east side and will visit numerous schools over the next few months to make presentations based on making good choices and having positive goals.
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