Billings, Blazers upend Totems at Olympicview
(Photo by Cheyenne Mingo)
The Bellingham Blazers almost gave up a four goal lead that was sparked by a pair of opening goals from Javin Billings. Seattle pushed the pace and came roaring back with a huge performance in the latter moments of the game. Ultimately, the Blazers reach their first win at Olympicview Arena since late Nov. and put themselves two points back of third place.
Milo Schneidmiller and Seth Hebert assisted on Billing's first two goals of the night to make it 2-0 at 15:04 of the first period. A lack of communication could be felt among Seattle as the usual chemistry wasn't present. The two goals may have triggered some doubt in Totem's netminder, Rustam Kulizade, but then it was apparent that it wasn't his night after letting in a third goal at 12:05.
Head Coach Mike Murphy opted to pull Kulizade, and Lane Skon got an opportunity to make his debut for the Totems. Skon held the fort until Joshua Mizue got past him making it 4-0 in favor of the Blazers at 11:02 of the second period.
Shortly thereafter, Adam Lindarv gave Seattle some life as he converted an unassisted shorthanded goal at 8:48 of the middle period to make it 1-4. A four goal deficit is always a dreadful thought, but Seattle had to grind a way to stay in the game despite being outshot 21-13 in the frame.
Cory Kane and Albin Modin gave Seattle its greatest opportunity in the third period after they each found the back of the net. It was 4-3 in favor of Bellingham with just under four minutes remaining.
Former Seattle Totems goalie, Daniil Goryachev, decided three goals was enough to let in, and closed up shop to hold off for the 4-3 final. Goryachev made a total of 40 saves in his first game against his former team.
Bellingham caught stride at the perfect moment. They dug themselves out of a hole after enduring a sweep to Ogden, and have won seven straight since then—including last night. They will need all the momentum and inspiration they could get—going into the ensuing Utah Outliers road trip—if they want to potentially overtake the three spot.
Seattle unfortunately drops to a seven game skid stemming back to their series against Ogden earlier this month.
Seattle and Bellingham will both close out the regular season against each other when the Totems pay Bellingham Sportsplex a visit on March 8.