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NPHL Playoff Recap: Sunday, March 20th Junior Hockey News

Published: Monday, 21 Mar 2016  
By: Grace Breseman

Bellingham, WA – After equalizing the series at two games apiece, the Eugene Generals traveled up to Bellingham, Washington, to take on the Bellingham Blazers for a win or go home game five. During the first period, the Blazers scored first to take an early lead. But about two minutes later, the Generals knotted the game at one goal apiece when Christian “Buddy” Dale found Isaac Vincent for the goal. The Blazers scored one more goal to round out the period, thus sending the team into the first intermission with a 2 – 1 lead over the Generals.

The second period came and went without a goal from neither the Blazers or the Generals. Since no team scored during the second period, the Blazers retained the team’s one-goal lead. The special teams unit for both teams continued to play well as they fended off a power play opportunity by their opposition. As the final whistle blew to end the period, the Blazers were able to out shoot the Generals, 14 – 9.

As both teams hit the ice for the final period in this series, the Blazers’ forward – Simeon Smith – scored a goal to start the period. Shortly after Smith’s goal, the Generals scored a goal of their own as they reduced the Blazers’ lead back to one goal. While down by one goal in the final minute and a half, the Generals pulled the team’s goalie and the Blazers capitalized on an empty net opportunity. This empty net goal by Sam Vizenor pushed the Blazers to a 4 – 2 victory over the Generals.

Phil Carron, the Blazers’ assistant coach, commented on tonight’s game against the Generals. Carron said, “during tonight’s game, we battled our butts off. We came together as a team, battled for each other, and showed a lot of character.”

Justin Kern, the Generals’ head coach, also shared his thoughts about tonight’s game. Kern said, “overall, the guys showed a lot of heart. We put ourselves in a hole and we had to battle back to get ourselves to this game. At the end of the day, it took a lot out of us just to get this far. It’s a rough one; the guys are a little upset, but they have to hold their heads up high. They battled all season to get to this point, and they had a heck of a series. They have nothing to be ashamed of.”

After beating the Generals (2-3-0, 4 points) tonight, the Blazers (3-1-1, 7 points) will now advance to the Cascade Cup Championship series for the fourth straight year! The Blazers are set to take on the Wenatchee Wolves next weekend.

Notable Performances:
(BEL) Karson DeRego (F) – one goal and one assist
(BEL) Broderick Parker (G) – two goals allowed on 36 shots faced and the victory

With this series now over, tune in to the NPHL’s website on Wednesday, March 23rd, for a Cascade Cup preview!

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