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Cariboo Cougars drop OT decision to Thompson Blazers

The Thompson Blazers battled back from a 3-0 deficit and beat the Cariboo Cougars 4-3 in overtime in the B.C. Hockey Major Midget League season-opener for both teams on Saturday night at Kin 1.

Ethan Sanders scored the winner for the Blazers a little more than a minute into the three-on-three extra session when he took a pass from behind the net and went high on Cariboo goaltender Dawson Smith. Brendan Hunchak fed Sanders, who elevated the puck so quickly that Smith had no chance on the play.

The Blazers tied the game with 35 seconds left in the third period while goaltender Kobe Grant was on the bench in favour of an extra attacker. Defenceman Tristan Allen started the play with a brilliant pass from inside his own zone. Allen’s long-bomb feed hit the tape of Reagan Milburn at the Cariboo blueline. Milburn busted in on Smith and managed to squeeze the puck through him.

Thompson pulled into a 3-2 deficit on a goal by Peyton Kelly at 15:58 of the third. Kelly snapped a high shot past Smith after a block in front.

Down 3-0, the Blazers stared the comeback at the 16:35 mark of the second period on a bomb from the right point by defenceman Cole Senum. His howitzer found its way through traffic and into the left side of the net behind Smith.

Cariboo goal-scorers were Nico Myatovic, John Herrington and Brennan Bott.

In the second, Myatovic pushed the home team into a 3-0 lead when he scored from in tight at 15:34. Moments earlier, Herrington made it 2-0 on a nifty toe-drag in front. The Cariboo captain finished off the play with a backhander past Grant.

The Cougars led 1-0 after the first period on a beautiful goal by Bott. At top speed, Bott dashed up the middle of the rink, leaving Thompson defenders in his wake. When the 17-year-old forward got to the net, he calmly slid the puck across the line. The highlight-reel goal came at 15:03.

In the game, both teams went scoreless on the power play. The Cougars were 0-for-3 and the Blazers were 0-for-5.

Before the opening faceoff, the Cougars unveiled their playoff championship banner from last season.

The Cougars and Blazers will be back on Kin 1 ice on Sunday at 10:30 a.m.

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