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Chiefs Brush Back Knights

Chiefs brush back Knights

posted Jan 12, 2017

At least the North Okanagan Knights finally scored a goal in Enderby.

A late goal with five minutes remaining gave the Kelowna Chiefs a 4-3 win over the Knights in Kootenay International Junior B Hockey League play Wednesday night at the Enderby Arena.

It was North Okanagan’s third and final regular season home in Enderby where they went 0-3 and were outscored 13-3.

“It was good, our best game in Enderby, but we just didn’t finish,” said Knights head coach/GM Bryant Perrier.

The third-place Chiefs are 13 points clear of North Okanagan in the Okanagan Shuswap Division, while the Knights stayed two points ahead of the Princeton Posse in the battle for the final playoff spot. The Posse lost 3-0 at home Wednesday to the division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes.

Kelowna jumped out to a 2-0 lead midway through the first period on a pair of goals from Ryan Pereverzoff before Luke Harvie scored his second of the year nine seconds after Pereverzoff’s second marker.

Cameron Welch tied the game at 17:11 on a powerplay with his third, but the Chiefs took the lead back 25 seconds later on a goal from Jason Village.

Brady Marzocco pulled the Knights even with his club-leading 17th at 17:44 of the second.

Brendan Laing scored the winner for Kelowna with 4:49 remaining.

Conor Webb made 28 saves for North Okanagan (12-21-0-1) while Tanner Marshall stopped 21 shots for Kelowna (18-15-1-1).

The Knights host the Summerland Steam Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in what will be a long day for Marzocco, Webb, Jason Shaigec and Dean Whitcomb. The four North Okanagan teammates will suit up for the Okanagan Conference in the league’s Prospects Game at 2 p.m. in Kelowna.

The Knights made one minor move at the league’s trade deadline Tuesday, signing forward Louis Shortreed, a Penticton product.

“He’s not very big but he’s a lot like (Vernon Vipers’ captain) Riley Brandt,” said Perrier. “He plays the same way. He’s a fire pistol out there.”

Two Vernon products were part of KIJHL trades.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies sent defenceman Michael LeNoury to the Nelson Leafs for forward David Lenzin and future considerations.

LeNoury played in 23 games for Revelstoke this season, scoring twice and adding 14 assists and 102 penalty minutes.

The Golden Rockets dealt forward Scott Latwat to the Oceanside (Parksville) Generals of the Vancouver Island Junior Hockey League for futures.

Latwat appeared in 25 games with the Rockets. He had six goals and three assists for nine points.

KNIGHT MOVES: Because of the Prospects Game, and through the courtesy of North Okanagan Minor Hockey, the completion of a game between the Knights and Summerland – postponed Dec. 2 due to a blown transformer at Nor-Val – will take place Tuesday, Feb. 21 at Nor-Val. The game was stopped with 4:01 left in the second period and the Steam ahead 4-1. The game will only be played if necessary to each team’s post-season chances.

Harris Boosts Knights Past Eagles

Harris boosts Knights past Eagles

posted Jan 10, 2017

His first goal of the year was a big one for the North Okanagan Knights.

Levi Harris’ goal at 4:01 of the third period was the winner as the Knights defeated the Eagles 7-4 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday in Sicamous.

The Knights host the Kelowna Chiefs in the third and final of three regular games to be played at the Enderby Arena tonight at 7:30.

North Okanagan jumped out to a 3-0 lead two minutes into the second period before the Eagles rallied with three goals before the end of the frame to equalize.

Harris’ goal was sandwiched around markers by Dean Whitcomb, his second of the game, giving him 11 on the year, and Layne Greene (fifth). Jason Shaigec added his fourth at 13:22 on a powerplay to complete the four-goal third-period outburst for North Okanagan.

“It was great,” said Knights head coach and general manager Bryant Perrier of his team’s offensive explosion.

“We played like a family instead of guys trying to win games by themselves. And it was great to see a guy like Levi get in on the scoring. We’re going to need that down the stretch. That’s what you want, other guys contributing.”

Carl Main had the other two goals for North Okanagan to support goalie Conor Webb, who stopped 23 shots. The Knights fired 33 pucks at Eagles goalie Josh Bolding.

Twenty-four hours earlier at home, the Knights blew an opportunity to extend their lead over Princeton in the battle for the fourth and final Okanagan Shuswap Division playoff spot.

The Posse went into Armstrong and doubled the Knights 4-2, cinching things with an empty-netter.

“We outshot them and outplayed them, just didn’t outscore them,” said Perrier. “That’s a game we have to have.”

The Posse scored three unanswered after Jack Berger (fifth) opened the scoring for the Knights at 8:03 of the opening period.

Shaigec got the home side back to within a goal on a powerplay with 10 minutes left in regulation but could not get the equalizer past Posse netminder Chandler Billinghurst, who finished with 32 saves.

Daniel Paul made 23 stops in taking the loss.

North Okanagan (12-20-0-1) has a two-point lead on the Posse (9-21-1-4) and have two games in hand.

Perrier has been busy working the phones, looking hard for an experienced player prior to Tuesday’s trade deadline.

North Okanagan lost defenceman E.J. Shaw, 18, (personal) and 20-year-old forward Logan Geefs (work) following the Christmas break. Neither will return.

Geefs was third in team scoring with 10 goals and nine assists in 31 games.

His departure leaves Greene as the team’s only 20-year-old player.

“Experience is something I’m looking for but it’s difficult,” said Perrier.

Four Knights have been named to the Okanagan Conference roster for the return of the league’s Top Prospects game, set for Saturday at 2 p.m. in Kelowna.

The game is being played in conjunction with the annual Kelowna Midget Invitational tournament, and is being used as a recruiting showcase.

Named to the game from the Knights are forwards Brady Marzocco and Whitcomb, defenceman Shaigec and goalie Webb is an alternate.

North Okanagan and Kamloops each have four players chosen to the squad.

Top Prospects Competing In Kelowna

Top Prospects Competing In Kelowna

Monday, January 9, 2017 – Submitted by KIJHL

The KIJHL is pleased to announce the return of the Top Prospects game that hasn’t been played since Jan.14, 2011 in Fernie, BC.

This season, the best junior development league in North America will host a Recruiting Showcase in conjunction with the Kelowna Midget Invitational.

The Top Junior Prospects in the KIJHL will meet in a Okanagan vs Kootenay match up to showcase our elite junior talent.

The North Okanagan Knights are pleased to announce that four players will be participating in the Top Prospects Game.  Brady Marzocco, Dean Whitcomb, Jason Shagiac and our Alternate is Goaltender Connor Webb.

The Knights along with the Kamloops Storm will have the most representatives playing at the Top Prospects Game on Saturday afternoon.

When: January 14th 2017

Where: Rutland Arena , Kelowna BC

Game Time: 2:00 pm

Knights Gain KIJHL Split

Knights gain KIJHL split

posted Dec 13, 2016
Brady Marzocco of the Knights. - Lisa Vandervelde/Morning Star

Brady Marzocco of the Knights.

Morning Star Staff

A kid named Chandler handled the North Okanagan Knights Sunday.

Goalie Chandler Billinghurst stopped 39 of 40 shots as the visiting Princeton Posse escaped with a huge 2-1 win over the Knights in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The win pulled the Posse to within five points of the fourth-place Knights in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division, and came less than 24 hours after the Knights went into Kelowna and blanked the third-place Chiefs 4-0 behind a 21-save performance from Daniel Paul.

“We had four breakaways Sunday, and we had ample opportunities, but we need to bury them,” said North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier. “Their goalie played very well. We outplayed them in the second half, but didn’t score. That’s a team we have to beat because they’re behind us, chasing us for a playoff spot.”

Princeton held a 2-0 lead going into the third period Sunday before Jaden Hay got the Knights on the board with his fourth goal in five games since joining the club from the Sicamous Eagles at 5:14.

Paul took the loss.

Hay scored twice Saturday in Rutland while Brady Marzocco (16th) and Cameron Welch (second) added powerplay goals in a penalty-filled affair.

The teams combined for nearly 300 minutes in penalty minutes with seven Chiefs and three Knights ejected.

Four Kelowna players were given two-game suspensions for a multiple-fights, same stoppage, the result of a late second-period melee.

Hay received a one-game suspension for his role during the fights.

The Chiefs’ second-leading scorer, Brody Dale – an affiliate player of the BCHL’s Vernon Vipers – received a three-game suspension for a contact to the head penalty and game misconduct in the final 10 minutes of the game.

“I’m very proud of my team for the way they handled themselves (against Kelowna),” said Perrier. “I’m proud of the self-perseverance and discipline they showed in that fiasco.”

The Knights have sent a letter to the league office, complaining about Kelowna’s tactics.

North Okanagan (11-17-0-1) wraps up the first half of the season Friday against the Chase Heat – Doug Birks Division leaders, 19-8-0-0). Puck drops 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Knights Come From Behind To Win 3-2 In Overtime

The Osoyoos Coyotes blew a two-goal lead Wednesday night to lose 3-2 to the North Okanagan Knights in overtime.

The Coyotes played well in the first two periods, but their luck turned in the third. In the space of less than two minutes near the end of the third period, the Knights scored two quick goals and the Coyote lead evaporated.

Carter Robinson scored the first Coyote goal of the game halfway through the first period when he saw an opening and skated in to put the puck past North Okanagan goalie Daniel Paul. Colton Rhodes got the assist.

This was the occasion for the Christmas Toy Toss, and stuffed tows were showered onto the ice by fans as the Coyotes celebrated their lead.

Early in the second period, Judd Repole scored on a power play assisted by Daniel Stone and Colin Bell.

The Coyotes also outshot the Knights – 20-16 in the first period and 15-6 in the second.

But something happened in the third and the Knights gained control of the puck, outshooting the Coyotes 12-9.

The Coyote power play was less effective than usual, with only one power play goal in six chances.

With just over five minutes remaining in the third period, Layne Greene scored for North Okanagan. Less than two minutes later, Brady Marzocco tied the score.

Just a minute and 15 seconds into the first overtime period, Dean Whitcomb of the Knights scored the game winner.

The game in some ways was a mirror image of the Coyotes come-from-behind win on Saturday when they won in overtime against 100 Mile House after being down 3-0.

The Coyotes get two chances this weekend to get back on track. They play Friday in Sicamous and Saturday in Revelstoke.

Knights’ Streak Hits Six Games

Knights’ streak hits six games

posted Dec 6, 2016

A new transformer at the Nor-Val Sports Centre failed to retool the North Okanagan Knights’ sluggish offence.

The Revelstoke Grizzlies scored two goals in each of the first two periods for a 4-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the Knights Saturday at Nor-Val.

The win came 24 hours after the Knights’ Friday night home game against Summerland was interrupted when a transformer blew at the arena with the visiting Steam ahead 4-1 in the second period.

The Knights (9-16-0-1), who have lost six in a row, and who have scored more than one goal in a game only once during the skid, play the Okanagan Shuswap Division-leading Coyotes (19-5-0-0) in Osoyoos tonight.

Jaden Hay, a Grindrod product acquired last week from the Sicamous Eagles in exchange for forward Matthias Urbanski, had the North Okanagan goal.

“Jaden wanted a change of scenery and he’s a guy who gives us more experience in our lineup,” said Knights head coach/GM Bryant Perrier.

“He’s a local guy, as well. The move was made to shake things up a bit.”

Hay’s goal, his fifth of the season (had 4+2 in 15 games with the Eagles), tied Saturday’s game 1-1 in the opening period. He was named North Okanagan’s game star.

Dylan McNeil opened the scoring for the Grizzlies Saturday just 3:08 into the game.

Tyler Chavez Leech scored the winner with 91 seconds left in the opening period, unassisted.

Jon Vandermolen scored twice in the middle frame for the Grizzlies, to round out the scoring.

The Knights’ Carl Main took on Revelstoke’s Matthew Monk in a third-period scrap.

North Okanagan lost leading goal scorer Brady Marzocco with 6:57 left to a goaltender interference and 10-minute misconduct penalty.

Grizzlies goalie Giovanni Sambrielaz was named Revelstoke game star, making 28 saves. Daniel Paul made 23 saves for the Knights.

Both North Okanagan and Revelstoke (10-13-0-1) sit in fourth place in their respective divisions. The Knights hold a three-point edge over the Princeton Posse, and sit 13 points behind the third-place Kelowna Chiefs.

North Okanagan visits Kelowna Saturday and host the Posse Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

n The game against the Steam will be finished on Saturday, Jan. 14, at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, prior to a regularly scheduled game between the Steam and Knights.

The game will resume from the point it was stopped, finish, and then the teams will play their regularly scheduled game.

Knights Get Past Grizzlies

Knights get past Grizzlies

posted Nov 15, 2016

Knights Logo

Four straight goals and solid goaltending lifted the North Okanagan Knights to a 4-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win Saturday night before 400 fans at the Revelstoke Forum.

North Okanagan (9-10-1) visits the Osoyoos Coyotes (13-5-0)  Wednesday night at the Sun Bowl Arena.

“We had a lot of penalties to kill off in the third period but we got through it,” said Knights head coach Bryant Perrier. “It’s two points on the road and, as ugly as it was, we still found a way to score four goals.”

After the Grizzlies (6-12-0) opened the scoring with 2:47 left in the first period, the Knights replied with the next four, including two before the end of the frame.

Layne Greene scored his third of the year, unassisted, 46 seconds after the Revelstoke goal, and Matthias Urbanski netted his first of two, on a powerplay at 19:12, giving the Knights a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.

Logan Geefs upped the advantage to 3-1 less than three minutes into the middle frame, and Urbanski scored his seventh of the year 73 seconds later to make it 4-1 North Okanagan.

The Grizzlies closed to within a pair with 13:56 left in the period, and cut the gap to one goal with a powerplay marker at 17:48 of the third, but could not beat Daniel Paul for the equalizer with the teams playing six-on-four.

According to the game sheet, the Knights were whistled for four minor penalties at 17:35 to just one for the Grizzlies after a skirmish.

Revelstoke was 1-11 on the powerplay, North Okanagan 1-10.

“For as many penalties that were called on us, I thought we handled our discipline very well,” said Perrier.

“I’m not whining or complaining but there were lots of things not consistently called, and then in the last seven or eight minutes, the referee’s game plan changed. The calls have to be the same from the beginning of the game to the end of the game.”

Paul was brilliant, making 49 saves as Revelstoke outshot North Okanagan 52-27.

The Knights chased Grizzlies starter Giovanni Sambrielaz after the second Urbanski goal. He was replaced by Chris Wielenga.

Vernon products Michael LeNoury and Jordan Rea were held off the Revelstoke scoresheet while Nicholas Higgs did not dress.

Knights Slow Down Coyotes

posted Nov 5, 2016

Knights Logo

Morning Star Staff

The Osoyoos Coyotes are fast and creative on offence.

The North Okanagan Knights managed to slow them down and post a surprising 3-2 win before 200 fans Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

North Okanagan improved to 8-8-0-1 in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.

“We played physical for 60 minutes and they backed off,” said Knights’ head coach Bryant Perrier. “They don’t like to get hit.”

Logan Geefs produced his eighth of the season on a sweet forehand-backhand move in tight, at 14:40 of the second period to open the scoring. Brady Marzocco and d-man Layne Greene drew helpers.

Jack Berger made it 2-0 four minutes later on what Perrier called a “woodchopper goal; he just kept poking at the puck and it went in.” Greene assisted on Berger’s third snipe of the year.

Carter Shannon, with his ninth,  and Daniel Stone, with his eighth, counted powerplay goals two minutes apart for Osoyoos, who lead the division at 11-4.

Marzocco banged in a rebound after Jason Shaigec’s snapper from the point as blocked by Coyote goalie Liam Aitken. Marzocco, who was cleared to play after taking a head shot Tuesday night in Kelowna, has 12 goals on the season.

The Knights host the Sicamous Eagles Saturday night.

Knights Fall Prey To Eagles

Knights fall prey to Eagles

North Okanagan Knights.... - KIJHL Image

North Okanagan Knights
 posted Nov 8, 2016

It took 15 games for the Sicamous Eagles to win their first Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game of the season.

Now, the Birds have won three of their last five, including a 6-3 win over the North Okanagan Knights Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights are in Enderby tonight to host the Okanagan Shuswap division-leading Summerland Steam at 7:30 p.m. It’s the first of three games North Okanagan will play at the Enderby Arena this season.

The loss came 24 hours after North Okanagan beat the second-place Osoyoos Coyotes 3-2.

“We weren’t very good,” said Knights head coach Bryant Perrier.

“We had a good start and then we thought that the wheels were going to fall off for them. I don’t have a lot of words. It’s on them (the players). We had them, had them on the ropes and let them off. Sometimes you get what you deserve.”

The Knights jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead Saturday, getting goals at 3:27 from Carl Main (third) and a powerplay marker at 5:24 from Brady Marzocco (team-leading 13th).

The Eagles responded with three goals in a 3:13 span, including one from Grindrod’s Jaden Hay, his fourth goal in nine games with Sicamous, to take a 3-2 lead into the locker room.

Sicamous scored its fourth straight on a powerplay, courtesy of former Knight Jordan Bautista, at 8:57. Layne Greene (first) pulled the Knights back to within one a few minutes later with the man advantage.

A goal less than two minutes into the third period restored the Eagles’ two-goal edge, and Alex Hartman added an unassisted marker with 7:40 remaining.

Max Gaudet made 23 saves to pick up the win while Daniel Paul was tagged with the loss, stopping 21 shots.

The Knights (8-9-1) hold a five-point lead over the Princeton Posse (5-12-2) in the battle for fourth place in the division. North Okanagan sits four points back of third-place Kelowna (10-6-1).

Summerland (12-4-2) has a four-point lead over Osoyoos (11-5) atop the division.

Knights Furious With Chiefs

by  Roger Knox – Vernon Morning Star

Vernon posted Nov 3, 2016 at 4:00 PM

Play the Kelowna Chiefs in the Rutland Arena, says North Okanagan Knights head coach/general manager Bryant Perrier, and “you need a stretcher, ambulance or a MASH unit to get out.”

Perrier was still steamed less than 24 hours after the Knights fell 6-2 to the Chiefs in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Tuesday night in Rutland, particularly over a hit to North Okanagan forward Brady Marzocco of Vernon.

“It was a targeted hit on Brady,” said Perrier. “His head was driven into the stanchion and he was knocked out.”

Marzocco, the team’s leading goal scorer with 11, suffered a concussion and did not return to the game.

“I have a fundamental problem playing that way,” continued Perrier. “I could go out and recruit a bunch of older guys and run around out there. But I’m not going to do that.”

Perrier pointed out the Chiefs lead the league in penalty minutes with 730, which is 140 more than the second most penalized team, the Grand Forks Border Bruins. The Knights are eighth in PIMS with 392.

In Tuesday’s game, Kelowna was whistled for 40 PIMs, including two 10-minute misconducts, double the amount given to the Knights (20 PIMS including one misconduct).

“I’ve had enough of this as a coach,” said Perrier. “We’re a developmental league. I’ll be talking with the owner (Dean Keller) about it. I guess we’ll figure it out and work through it. We’re going to have to push back when we play a team like that.”

Chiefs general manager Grant Sheridan refuted Perrier’s claims, saying the North Okanagan coach was in no position on the bench to see the hit on Marzocco, and that the Chiefs lost their fourth-leading scorer, Josh Kobelka, for up to six weeks with a torn shoulder joint after being hit by a Knight.

“Thankfully, I saw all of the above, and all of our games are on video so if you need any facts, please feel free to call me,” wrote Sheridan in an e-mail response to The Morning Star. “I am not prepared to defend non-factual events narrated by Mr. Perrier.

“We had 40 penalty minutes, they had 20 minutes so we were ‘punished’ according to the rules of the game.”

In the game, the Knights made the Chiefs pay for one penalty with team-leading scorer Dean Whitcomb netting his second goal (seventh on the year) on a powerplay at 8:02 of the first period, giving North Okanagan a 2-1 lead which they held going into the middle frame.

The game turned in a six-minute span early in the second as Kelowna scored four times – twice on the powerplay – to chase North Okanagan starter Conor Webb.

The Chiefs added one more on Daniel Paul to lead 6-2 after 40 minutes.

There was no scoring in the third.

The loss was the second straight for North Okanagan (7-8-1), who missed a chance to gain ground on the Chiefs (10-5-1) in the battle for third place in the Okanagan Shuswap Division.

The Knights host the division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes tonight, and the Sicamous Eagles Saturday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Eagles snapped a 14-game losing streak to start the season last Friday, edging the Kamloops Storm 8-7 in overtime.

Grindrod’s Jaden Hay scored the winner for Sicamous to help avoid an epic collapse and collect the first win. The Eagles led 7-2 midway through the second period.

Princeton stopped the streak at one the next day with a 4-0 win over the Eagles.