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Bellingham Blazers 2012-2013 NORPAC Cascade Cup Champions Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 18 Mar 2013  
By: NORPAC Staff

Bellingham's Cody Foster stopped 40 of 41 shots, and his team mates supported that effort with three goals to beat the West Sound Warriors 3-1 in game five to claim the Northern Pacific Hockey League's Cascade Cup. The Blazers will represent the league at USA Hockey's Tier III Junior National Championship in April.

The 2012-2013 season got off to a rough start for the Blazers, losing 10-2 to the West Sound Warriors in their first game back in October. The expansion team would start off their existence with a 1-8-1 record which included a loss to the Vancouver Vipers. The team never gave up on the coach and the coach never gave up on his team. Blazers' coach Mark Collins is one of the few bench bosses that believe in developing his players while others continued to make trades and tinker with the roster. The Blazers never got into that part of the game and now they are the league champions.

In Sunday's game, West Sound's Jake McMullen's power play goal 4:22 into the first period gave his Warriors an early 1-0 lead after Bryce Kenning was whistled for a high sticking penalty, giving West Sound their second power play in the first four minutes of the game.

Bellingham's go-to man Cody Rich evened things up just 33 seconds into the 2nd period when he made good on a Dawson Quint pass and lit the lamp with his fifth goal of the playoffs. Kenning made up for his first period transgression by notching a unassisted power play goal of his own at the 12:15 mark to put the Blazers up for good at 2-1.

Adam Papayoanou put the icing on the cake 3:23 into the third period when he converted a pair of passes from Kyler Moore and Mason Wade into a goal, giving the Blazers the 3-1 lead. West Sound never gave up, outshooting the Blazers in each of the three periods but were unable to get anything else past Foster.

West Sound's Forrest Savel stopped 28 of 31 in the loss.

Bellingham will face-off against the Minnesota Junior Hockey League champions on April 4th in Rochester, Minnesota in the first of three pool play games. 

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