Okanagan Rockets stunned by Blazers, reset for Cariboo

Thompson upsets Rockets in two major midget games, first-place Cougars up next

Okanagan Rockets forward Coleton Bilodeau (left) battles Thompson Blazer Jett Saharchuk in B.C. major midget action Saturday at CNC.

The Okanagan Rockets didn’t really see it coming.

Chances are, neither did the Thompson Blazers.

With just two wins in their first 16 games of the B.C. Major Midget League season, the Blazers were the overwhelming underdogs heading into a home-and-home set with the second-place Rockets.

When all was said and done, the Blazers had a sweep, while Okanagan (14-3-1-0) earned only one point.

“Things fell into place for them and didn’t work out for us,” said Rockets head coach Eric Blais. “I wouldn’t say we deserved it necessarily, but we sure got it.

“We didn’t get the team play from the goaltender out, didn’t get the saves, didn’t get the defensive coverage and offensively we just couldn’t finish. When that happens, you’re not going to win very much.”

On Saturday at the Capital News Centre, the Blazers scored early in overtime for a 5-4 victory.

Ryman Bassi scored twice in the loss, while Max Kryski and Coleton Bilodeau added the others.

On Sunday in Chase, the Blazers scratched out a 5-3 win. Kryski, Jeff Karpowich and Tanner Bahm tallied for Okanagan.

The Rockets held the edge in play for much of the two games, registering more than 90 shots, doubling the Blazers’ output.

While Blais may not have predicted the result against Thompson, he said his team’s play in recent games had become a concern.

“We weren’t quite playing quite the way we needed to going in, so I could kind of see us slipping a little,” Blais said. “Hopefully it’s a wake-up call. But credit to them (Blazers), they outworked us and were hungrier.”

The Rockets had some injuries to cope with and were also without a number of key players for the weekend set.

Eli Zummack is with the WHL’s Spokane Chiefs, while defenseman Seth Barton played with the BCHL’s Nanaimo Clippers.

The Rockets will now get set for a showdown with the first-place Cariboo Cougars (16-1-1-0). The teams will face off Saturday at 3 p.m. and Sunday at 10 a.m. at CNC.