Kamloops Blazers set to return to official play

The WHL hockey team will play their first game back on March 26

Dylan Garand is expected to have a solid season between the pipes after playing for Team Canada at the world juniors this past January. (Submitted)

After the longest off-season in team history, the Kamloops Blazers have officially been scheduled to return to action at the Sandman Centre. After a full year of no hockey, the WHL B.C. division was granted the green light by public officials to step back onto the ice.

There will be a shortened season which will consist of 24 games that will be dispersed among three different divisions: the Prairie division, the U.S.A division and the B.C. division where Kamloops will match up against the other teams in the province.

Teams across the league will not cross over into other divisions and there is no comment yet on whether playoffs will ensue once the season is finished. Even though it is not quite the same, hockey fans, along with the Blazers themselves, are excited to get back on the ice.

“We are super excited to get back to things and play some games. I’m super pumped,” Blazers Goalkeeper, Dylan Garand admitted. “We have been training for over a year individually and it feels good to be back together as a team.”

Kamloops and Kelowna will be the two cities that will be host to the “WHL bubble”. The Blazers, the Prince George Cougars, and the Vancouver Giants will play in Kamloops while the Kelowna Rockets and the Victoria Royals will stay in Kelowna. Do not expect the games to have the same electric atmosphere that you are used to like all games at the Sandman centre will be played in front of empty seats.

“Having no fans in the arena will definitely be a different experience. Obviously, we’d like to play in front of a full barn,” Garand explained. “That being said, we are just really grateful to be back playing games.”

If you would like to support the Blazers and watch their return to action against the Vancouver Giants on March 26th, you can watch the game online at watch.CHL.ca, puck drops at 7:00 p.m.