Knights Pull Out Huge Road Win
posted Feb 3, 2017
North Okanagan Knights recorded their biggest win of the season on the road Tuesday.
Third-period goals from Dean Whitcomb (16th) and Jaden Hay (10th), on a powerplay, snapped a 2-2 tie and propelled the Knights to a 4-2 win over the Kelowna Chiefs at the Rutland Arena.
The win pulled North Okanagan to within a point of the Princeton Posse in the battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Okanagan Shuswap Division.
The Posse fell 3-2 at home Wednesday to the division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes.
“I think the win did a lot for our team in terms of morale and confidence around the room,” said Whitcomb. “Overall it was a big win for us and, going forward, this is going to do a lot for kickstarting a lot of great upcoming games we have over the next three weeks.”
Brett Witala gave Kelowna a 1-0 lead just 21 seconds in, but the Knights equalized at 10:10 thanks to the 10th point of the year from Carl Main (sixth goal).
Whitcomb, unassisted, gave North Okanagan a 2-1 lead five minutes into the second, but Josh Kobelka equalized for the Chiefs on a powerplay at 8:34.
Daniel Paul made 24 saves for the Knights. Tanner Marshall stopped 41 for the Chiefs.
The Knights host the 100 Mile House Wranglers Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, and visit the division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes Saturday.
“I think we have confidence in each other and in the program that we can push for this last (playoff) spot, and get something good going for the last stretch,” said Whitcomb.
Wranglers defenceman Brevin Gervais, from Prince George, continues to make progress after suffering a brain hemorrhage Jan. 26.
Gervais, who turned 17 on Jan. 15, was admitted to hospital in 100 Mile House, then transferred to Kamloops, where he underwent a lengthy neurosurgery.
“We are excited to announce that day five of recovery, while heavily sedated, Brevin is opening his eyes during his wake times and recognized a statement from a caregiver for which he returned a thumbs up,” said the Wranglers on the KIJHL website.
NORTH OKANAGAN (7*):
HOME: 100 Mile House, Princeton, Osoyoos, Summerland*;
AWAY: Osoyoos, Kamloops, Princeton.
HOME: Chase, Summerland (2), North Okanagan;
AWAY: Sicamous, North Okanagan.
*The Knights are slated to host the Summerland Steam on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to complete a game postponed Dec. 2 when a transformer blew at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. The game will only be played if it’s imperative to playoff standings, and will start with 4:01 left in the second period with Summerland ahead 4-1.