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Huculak Helps Knights

Huculak helps Knights

Newcomer sets up four goals in second game as Knights beat Kelowna in KIJHL action

In 22 games this season with the Beaver Valley Nitehawks, Jake Huculak had three points.

In two games since being acquired by the North Okanagan Knights, Huculak has four. And they all came in one game, and nearly in one period.

Huculak, an 18-year-old forward from Jasper, Alta., had four assists to lead the Knights to a 6-5 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the Chiefs in Kelowna Saturday.

Three of Huculak’s assists came in the first period on goals from Tyler Olsen, Carl Main (powerplay) and Dean Whitcomb as the Knights built a 4-3 lead. Whitcomb opened the scoring 27 seconds after the national anthem, and finished the scoring with the only goal of the third period, an unassisted marker with 6:14 remaining.

The Chiefs took the lead in the second period, only to have North Okanagan equalize with Olsen’s second of the game with 2:16 left in the period.

Zach Willms made 23 saves to get the win as the Knights (7-16-3-1) moved to within nine points of fourth-place Kelowna in the Okanagan Division.

A night earlier, at home, the Knights dropped a tough 3-1 decision at home to the division-leading Summerland Steam. Drayton Martin had the only goal for North Okanagan, who host the 100 Mile House Wranglers (second in Doug Birks Division at 15-8-3-0, one point behind Chase Heat) Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The game is the Knights’ annual Teddy Bear Toss, where fans are asked to bring a stuffy to the game and throw it on the ice when the Knights score. It’s also Hampers For Hope Day, where fans are asked to bring a non-perishable item for Christmas hampers and get $1 off their game admission price.

Who’s Hot in the KIJHL

Who’s Hot in the KIJHL

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North Okanagan Knights’ Jake Huculak

Jake, recently acquired from Beaver Valley helped set up four goals in the Knights 6-5 road win over Kelowna on Dec.2.

 

 

 

Shaigec wins Subway Player of the Month for November

North Okanagan Knights Defenseman Jason Shaigec is the winner for Player of the Month for November.

Subway has been grateful to sponsor the North Okanagan Knights Player of the Month Award.

This is well deserved for Jason as he has been solid and steady every shift and every game as the rear guard for the Knights over the past month.  His work ethic is consistent and and attitude is very positive everyday.

“Jason loves to smile and keep his teammates lite at the rink.  He is a work horse in practice and definitely in games.  Jason has to be considered one of the better Defenseman in the KIJHL.  He is nice young man and very easy to get along with, said Coach Bryant Perrier.”

Knights Deal Grizzlies First Loss At Home

Knights deal Grizzlies first loss at home

North Okanagan wins 3-0 in Revelstoke.

After five games at the Forum, the Revelstoke Grizzlies suffered their first home loss of the season to the North Okanagan Knights.

Fresh off a 4-1 win against the Okanagan Division-leading Summerland Steam, the Knights dispatched the Grizzlies 3-0.

North Okanagan coach Bryant Perrier called the victory a “huge win” for his team, which is 5-11-1-3 and sits last in its division.

“We came off a huge win last night beating the first-place Summerland team in our building. They’re a very difficult team and we did it decisively,” he said. “Then we came on the road here. It’s difficult building. Revelstoke is very good. Very well prepared, well coached and we were really proud of how our group handled the adversity and we battled through it.”

The game started off slow, with no goals in the first 20 minutes.

North Okanagan’s Brady Marzocco got on the board first, with 9:29 remaining in the second period.

With 2:08 left in the second frame, Alec McLeod scored an insurance goal to make it 2-0 heading into the third.

The Grizzlies were playing the second of back-to-back games at home.

On Friday night, they faced the 100 Mile Wranglers and tied it 2-2 after two overtime periods.

Friday night’s game was full of penalties and saw 10 players receive misconducts. Revelstoke’s two goals on Friday night were power play goals scored by Dylan McNeil and Josh Irvine.

Saturday night, Revelstoke’s sticks were unusually silent.

Grizzlies coach Ryan Parent said the team “failed to capitalize on some offensive chances.”

They outshot the Knights 37-29, but couldn’t find the net against rookie goalie Zach Willms, who recorded his first career KIJHL shutout.

“Other parts of our game were sufficient today,” said Parent following the game. “In the offensive zone, where we spent a lot of time today, we have to work in a different direction if we’re going to beat good goaltenders.

“I think in some ways we wanted that easy fancy play and I think we’re going to have to get more gritty there and bury some of the chances that we’ve had.”

The Knights’ Jason Shaigec scored the team’s last goal of the game with 5:39 remaining.

“This win was a team effort,” said Perrier, “and it’s 20 guys deep.”

The Knights took Sunday off and next face the Summerland Steam Tuesday for a rematch.

Following the weekend’s games, Revelstoke (11-5-1) drops to number two in the Doug Birks Division, losing the number one spot to the Chase Heat (13-8-0).

The Grizzlies will use this week to regroup and face the Princeton Posse (9-9-1) Friday night in Princeton.

Their next home game is Friday, Nov. 24 at 7 p.m. against the 100 Mile Wranglers (10-6-3).

Who Hot In The KIJHL

North Okanagan Knights’

Zach Willms

Zach earned his first career KIJHL shutout by stopping all 32 shots as the visiting Knights blanked the Grizzlies 3-0 on Nov. 11

Willms wins Subway Player of the Month for October

North Okanagan Knights Goaltender Zach Willms is the winner for Player of the Month for October.

Subway has been grateful to sponsor the North Okanagan Knights Player of the Month Award.

This is well deserved for Zach as he has been outstanding in front of his team over the past many weeks.  His work ethic is impeccable and attitude is very focused everyday.

“Zach loves the game and loves to practice.  He is passionate about coming to the rink everyday.  He is great to be around and we all enjoy him, said Coach Bryant Perrier.”

Knights Show Major Grit

Knights show major grit

The North Okanagan Knights went with just 14 skaters Saturday night at Rutland Arena and won.

With four defencemen and three forwards on injured reserve, the North Okanagan Knights went with just 14 skaters Saturday night at Rutland Arena.

Somehow, the Knights who were healthy found a way to dispatch the Kelowna Chiefs 6-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play before 200 fans.

“We are really banged up and it was a great effort, said Knights’ head coach/GM Bryant Perrier. “I’m very proud of the group. It also shows that the bar just got set higher for the guys who were out. When we get our team back, we’ll be fine.”

Perrier acquired Vernon’s Grady Caton, a blueliner, from the Island Junior B Nanaimo Buccaneers, and the smooth-skating 18-year-old was a minute muncher in Rutland.

“He has wonderful vision,” said Perrier. “We got lucky; he fell out of the sky. With the number of injuries to our back end, we needed immediate assistance to bolster this position and give the group a chance to succeeed. He will help our defence move the puck out of the dee zone. He is smart and has savvy with the puck. We think he will also help improve our powerplay.”

Caton had one assist in 10 games with the 14-1 Buccaneers.

Perrier also added 17-year-old centre Mitchell Porteous from Calgary Midget AA and he responded with the Knights’ second goal versus the Chiefs.

“He’s going to help us,” said Perrier.

Jaden Hay converted two empty-netters 17 seconds apart in the final minute for the Knights, who improved to 3-8-1-3, four points back of the Chiefs for the fourth and final playoff berth in the Okanagan Division.

Ben Jossinet (first), Carl Main (fourth) and Sean Wilson (third), with the winner midway through the third period, complete the North Okanagan offence.

Brett Witala (eighth and ninth) and Jarin Sutton (fifth) replied for Kelowna. The Chiefs ran into penalty trouble as Tyler Love and Lane Paddison both took head contact minors and misconducts.

The Chiefs (6-6-1-1) outshot the Knights 51-25 with Zach Willms going the distance for the Knights.

“He (Willms) was good,” said Perrier. “He gives us a chance to win every night.”

D-man Justin Miron, who received a severe concussion in a game earlier this season against the Chiefs, remains on IR for another six weeks. Perrier said Miron requires 20 more treatments on a nerve in his neck.

Blueliners Jeff Schenkler, Drayton Martin and Cole Haberlock, along with captain Levi Harris a centre, are all nursing dislocated shoulders. F Alec McLeod was scratched for disciplinary reasons Saturday, while F Simon Korol was suspended.

The Knights visit the first-place Summerland Steam (12-4) Friday night.

Knights Break Out For Tie

Knights break out for tie

The North Okanagan Knights ended their scoring woes but fell 5-4 in overtime to the Summerland Steam

The North Okanagan Knights ended their scoring woes but fell 5-4 in overtime to the host Summerland Steam in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Tuesday night.

Sam Jones converted his third of the season at 1:27 of OT as Summerland went to 10-3 atop the Okanagan-Shuswap Division.

Scott Robinson, with his fifth and sixth snipes of the year, Riley Smoler, with his sixth, and Cairo Rogers, with his second, shorthanded, also connected for Summerland, who trailed 3-2 early in the third.

Brady Marzocco forced the extra session with his sixth goal of the season with five seconds to play in regulation.

Jadon Hay won the faceoff and Marzocco wired a shot past Owen Pettet on a pick and roll set play. Marzocco suffered a broken nose from an elbow earlier in the period. There was no penalty on the play.

Tyler Olsen (second), Jeff Schenkler, on the powerplay for his first, and game star Levi Harris, with his second, also on the powerplay, counted other goals for the Knights (2-5-1-3).

“We’re right there,” said Knights’ head coach Bryant Perrier. “Our compete level is good. When we get the lead, we have to attack it and feel comfortable with it.”

Harris also had one assist while playing on a line with brothers Sean and Brett Wilson.

“That was his (Harris) best game of the year,” said Perrier. “We call that line The Dirt Movers. These kids are so coachable.”

The Knights outshot the Steam 37-26 and went 2-for-8 with the man advantage.

North Okanagan will host the Sicamous Eagles (1-8-1-) tonight at Nor-Val Sports Centre and visit the 100 Mile House Wranglers (6-3-2) Saturday night.

The Knights are fourth in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division, two points behind the Kelowna Chiefs and six back of Osoyoos Coyotes.

The Knights will entertain the Eagles Feb. 12 at 5 p.m. (Family Day). The game was postponed from the Knights’ home opener Sept. 9 due to ice plant issues.

The Nelson Leafs at 9-2-1 and the Grand Forks Border Bruins at 9-4-0-1 share the overall lead in the 20-team Junior B loop.

Jordan Robertson of the Border Bruins is the top pointgetter with 10 goals and 27 points, two more than teammate Trey Mason. Dylan Heppler of the Beaver Valley Nitehawks has 10 goals and 20 points.

Knights Goal Starved

The North Okanagan Knights are goal-challenged while doing a decent job giving up goals in the KIJHL.

They are goal-challenged while doing a decent job giving up goals in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

North Okanagan Knights’ head coach Bryant Perrier is using practice time trying to get his troops going into the trenches for more snipes.

The Knights are 2-5-1-2 and have the fewest goals – 16 – in the 20-team circuit. They have allowed 30 goals, which is second-best in the Okanagan Division and seventh-best in the KIJHL.

The Knights visit the Summerland Steam (9-3) tonight after losing 2-1 to the Chase Chiefs Saturday night and falling 2-1 in overtime to the Steam Friday.

“We’re playing very well; we’re just not scoring,” said Perrier. “In our last three games, we’ve only had six goals against. Offensively, we’re committed but we’re not getting pucks into the paint for second chances.”

Conor Webb, a late cut by the Vernon Vipers who played for the Knights last year, stoned North Okanagan with 33 saves and game star honours at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

“He was good, he made the difference for sure,” said Perrier. “He made some spectacular saves. When you’re in a groove, you’re in a groove. Good for him.”

Webb is 4-2 with a 2.77 GAA.

The Knights were without injured forwards Jett Saharchuk (ankle) and Kyle Sherwood (shoulder) and D Justin Miron (concussion).

Jaden Hay netted his second of the season in the loss to Chase. Brayden Haskell and Cam Watson replied for the Heat 6-3-2-0). Zach Willms blocked 32 shots for the Knights’ game star.

Brady Marzocco rang up his fifth of the year in Summerland, where Willms took game star with 36 stops. Marzocco leads the Knights with six points.

The Knights have just seven players with goals. Hay, Carl Main and Sean Wilson have two snipes.

The Nelson Leafs (9-2-1-0) and Grand Forks Border Bruins (9-4-0-1) are the top two teams in the league.

The Knights entertain the 1-8-1-0 Sicamous Eagles Friday night and visit the 100 Mile House Wranglers (6-3-2-0) Saturday.

Knights Go Pink For Causes

Knights Go Pink For Causes

The North Okanagan Knights will look pretty in pink all October for two serious reasons.

The North Okanagan Knights will look pretty in pink all October for two serious reasons.

The Junior B hockey team will unveil their pink jerseys tonight when they entertain the Revelstoke Grizzlies (7:30) at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights are marking Mental Health Awareness and Breast Cancer Month with $1 from every home game ticket going to the Canadian Cancer Foundation. Pink ribbons, flowers and chocolates will be given out for a donation at the door.

North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier can relate to both mental health issues and cancer.

“This is the third year we’ve promoted mental health and we’ve had one kid suffer each year,” said Perrier. “We shut down one player for two months the first year. It’s a scary thing. You can tell by their body language that something is not quite right. We talk to the players and parents before the season and ask them to let us know if they are feeling down and need some help.”

Perrier has a family member who suffers with mental illness and says the disease takes its toll on loved ones.

He also wants to see cancer beaten.

“I lost my mom to cancer five years ago at 75. She was active and healthy and she was diagnosed in September after her birthday and she died in February. That was hard to see.”

The Knights, meanwhile, have lost last year’s leading scorer Dean Whitcomb (19 goals ande 37 points).

“Dean decided to leave the game,” said Perrier. “He didn’t want a trade. He’s gone back to Prince George. It’s a tough loss for us. He knows the ropes. He brings instant energy and instant compete.”

Whitcomb scored twice in five games this season.

The Knights lost 5-2 to the Osoyoos Heat Wednesday night at the Sun Bowl.

Carl Main and Cole Haberlack scored for the Knights (1-3-1-1). Branden Onstein bagged a deuce for the Heat (4-3).

The Knights visit the Princeton Posse (4-2-1-1) Saturday night.

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