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Van Sun art. (Never say die Blazers show Canucks exactly how to dig out of massive hole)

April 18 2012 at 7:16 AM
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N. W. Bruin  (Login NW_Bruin_GM)

Response to Edmonton Journal article (Warriors overcome adversity to post successful season)

Never-say-die Blazers show Canucks exactly how to dig out of massive hole

Underdog Kamloops can complete historic comeback tonight after battling back from 0-3 deficit to tie series with Portland Winterhawks

By Cam Tucker, Vancouver Sun

April 18, 2012

Vancouver Canucks fans befuddled by their team's 3-0 series deficit to the Los Angeles Kings may look to the Western Hockey League's Kamloops Blazers for inspiration.

The Blazers will travel south to Oregon to play the Portland Winterhawks in Game 7 of the WHL Western Conference semifinal tonight (7 p.m.), two days after forcing the winner takes all confrontation with a 7-6 victory in Game 6 - this after Kamloops lost the first three games of the best of seven series.

Bronson Maschmeyer scored with 21 seconds remaining in regulation to break a 6-6 deadlock. And if there was a shred of hope for the Blazers after a 5-2 Game 3 loss, putting the B.C. Division champs on the brink of getting swept out of the playoffs, surely it had been lost halfway through Monday's game.

The Blazers trailed by one goal after the first period, and fell behind three at the end of 40 minutes. Over, right? Wrong.

Goals from Marek Hrbas, Jordan DePape and Aspen Sterzer just 3:05 apart in the third period erased Portland's seemingly comfortable lead. The Blazers wound up scoring five times in the final period, capped off with Maschmeyer's winner.

The Blazers can become the first WHL team since the 1996 Spokane Chiefs to trail 3-0 in a series and come back to win. The Chiefs completed their historic comeback against the Winterhawks. The winner of the Blazers-Winterhawks series will advance to the Western Conference final against either the Tri-City Americans, or, ironically, the Chiefs.

The Americans and Chiefs will also play a seventh and deciding game tonight (7:05 p.m.).

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