Oklahoma City Blazers Hockey

Back on Track

Blazers3 Dal 1 pic

 

The Oklahoma City Blazers played with an attitude today, decisively beating the visiting Dallas Snipers squad 3-1, avoiding a 3 game sweep on their home ice. From the drop of the puck, the Blazers played with the edge head coach Tyler Fleck was seeking from his club all weekend. “I’m proud of the way the boys showed up today and dictated the pace of the game, start to finish. We showcased our physical presence, aggressively won our battles and demonstrated our team toughness. Just an overall great team win,” said Fleck. The Blazers pumped 51 shots on Dallas net minder Renaud Gaboury. Had it not been for Gaboury’s sensational play in goal, the game could very easily have gotten out of hand, as the young keeper steered aside 48 shots, with many being of the point blank variety. It was Petr Kobes getting the scoring underway for OKC in the second period as he whistled one by Gaboury on a delayed penalty scenario, ceasing momentum for the Blazers, as they never looked back. It was only a minute later that young Jared Guffey tallied the game winner, with a missil point shot, off of an offensive zone draw, that Gaboury was unable to locate. Matt Levene provided a big time insurance tally, 7 minutes into the final stanza, sealing the deal for the Blazers. Alexander Kotzman netted the lone goal for the Snipers, breaking Jakub Krejci’s shut out bid. The Blazers starter was sensational in his own right, stopping 28 of the 29 shots he faced, earning his 11th win of the season. Oklahoma City had the luxury of inserting team captain and unsung hero Hunter Smith back into the lineup this afternoon, and the power forward lead by example. The Carlyle, Saskatchewan native was all over the ice, initiating body contact consistently and engaging ferociously in battles, shift in, shift out. Hunter even went ahead and dropped the mitts, late in the second period, connecting on a flurry of rights, leaving poor Cameron Neufeld in disarray as he exited the playing surface. “We are a completely different team with our captain in the lineup, said Fleck. “The leadership and physical presence he provides for us are intangibles you simply cannot teach.” The Blazers will hit the road next for the 14th annual Western States Shootout in Las Vegas, Nevada. Their first matchup will be 10 days from now versus the Casper Coyotes. Oklahoma City will commence the new year with a home and home series versus in state rival Tulsa, taking place the 10th and 11th of January. The Blazers currently sit tied, with the El Paso Rhinos, atop the Midwestern Division standings with 32 points and will look to build on a very impressive start to their inaugural campaign.