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Hustle and heart Sets us apart.

Knights Lose Two Veterans

The North Okanagan Knights faced the Kelowna Chiefs with a short bench Tuesday night after losing two veterans in a 5-4 loss to the host Summerland Steam Saturday night.

Mitchell Cobbett and Joey Guerra went on injured reserve so Knights’ head coach Bryant Perrier was down to nine healthy forwards for Tuesday’s tilt at Rutland Arena.

Cobbett, a 19-year-old Kelowna product, will likely be sidelined for a week with a nerve-ending injury. The 6-foot-3, 200-pound left winger has one goal and eight points in 15 games.

Guerra, an 18-year-old from Salmon Arm, has a suspected broken hand after taking a slash. The menacing 6-foot, 185-pound winger, has one goal and 62 penalty minutes in 14 games.

“This will be a good opportunity for some other guys to step up while getting more ice time,” said Perrier.

Brady Marzocco, with his team-high 10th and 11th goals of the season, Jason Shaigec (2nd) and Carl Man (2nd) scored for the Knights in Summerland. Marzocco converted shorthanded with 15 seconds left in the first period to put the Knights up 2-1.

“The guys played a real solid game,” said Perrier. “It was the best game we’ve played in their building in two years.”

Steven Fiust bagged his third and fourth snipes of the year for Summerland, who got singles from Calvin Rout (7th), Ben Nietrich-Scammel (6th) and Josh Pilon (8th).

Daniel Paul stopped 18 shots in the loss, falling to 2-5. Perrier planned to “go back to ‘The Tarantula’ Conor Webb’ for Tuesday’s game. Webb, a Vernon product, is 4-2.

Summerland improved to 10-4-0-2, good for second spot in the Okanagan/Shuwswap Conference. The Knights are fourth at 7-7-0-1.

Knights Clip Posse In OT

Knights clip Posse in OT

posted Oct 29, 2016

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Matthias Urbanski converted at 2:14 overtime as the North Okanagan Knights shaded the Princeton Posse 4-3 before 150 fans Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Urbanski’s tally, unassisted, was his fifth of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season.

The Knights, who visited the Okanagan/Shuswap Division-leading Summerland Steam (9-4-0-2) Saturday night, improved to 7-6-0-1, good for fourth spot. The Posse are fifth and last at 4-10-0-2.

Morton Johnson netted his fifth to give Princeton a 1-0 lead early in the second period. Brady Marzocco equalized six minutes later with his ninth.

League scoring king Tristyn Olson recorded his 12th to give the Posse the lead on a power play with 2:42 left in the period. Drayton Martin leveled the score with 24 seconds to go with his second of the year.

Luke Harvie (1st) put North Okanagan in front on a power play early in the third. Olson tied it with 2:47 to play in regulation on the pp.

North Okanagan Knights Score Overtime Win

posted Oct 22, 2016

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Conor Webb made 22 saves to help the North Okanagan Knights edge the hometown Princeton Posse 2-1 in double overtime in Kootenay International Junior Hockey Leagueplay Friday night.

The Knights hosted the Okanagan Division leading Summerland Steam, 5-1 losers to the Coyotes in Osoyoos, Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Matthias Urbanski scored his fourth goal of the year unassisted, 37 seconds into the second overtime period, and on the Knights’ 47th shot of the game, beating Chandler Billinghurst.

The other two goals came in the first period.

Logan Geefs opened the scoring for North Okanagan with his sixth of the year, set up by Gavin Lawrie, just 2:19 into the game.

Kole Halvorson replied for Princeton at 7:40.

The victory moved the fourth-place Knights (5-6-0-1) four points up Princeton (3-10-0-1) in the division.


Knights Blow Off Steam To Sweep The Weekend

North Okanagan Knights host the Princeton Posse Friday night in Armstrong.

posted Oct 26, 2016

Tied 2-2 with the division leaders on home ice after 40 minutes, North Okanagan Knights head coach Bryant Perrier asked his players a simple question in the locker room:

“How do you want to feel after the game?”

Knowing that there’s a better feeling when you win, the Knights went out and played arguably their best 20 minutes of the season.

Leading scorer Dean Whitcomb converted 29 seconds into the frame and the Knights held on for a 3-2 win over the  Okanagan Shuswap-division leading Summerland Steam Saturday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

“I think the players were ready to take the next step,” said Perrier. “It was emotional (in the room). The guys were really fired up. I haven’t seen that in the past.

“Both teams were pretty banged up. Summerland is a physical team and they were pounding us, but the guys got back in the game on their next shift. They absorbed the punishment and came back and played with no fear and reckless abandon.”

Whitcomb’s winner came after Brady Marzocco forced a turnover in the Summerland zone and got the puck to Whitcomb near the net.

Whitcomb whiffed on his first attempt at a shot on Summerland goalie Matthew Huber. He stayed with the play and got a second chance and buried it behind Huber for his fifth of the season.

The Knights outshot the Steam 10-7 in the final period and 25-22 overall in the game.

After Summerland (9-4-0) opened the scoring midway through the first period, North Okanagan responded with goals 67 seconds apart from Marzocco (eighth) and Drayton Martin (first) on a powerplay.

The Steam tied it on a powerplay marker with 20 seconds left in the middle period.

“I couldn’t be more impressed with how the guys responded,” said Perrier. “I was impressed with how they handled themselves, how they played without the puck and how they played systematically.”

Conor Webb picked up his second win in as many starts over the weekend. The Vernon product stopped 66 shots he faced in wins over Princeton and Summerland.

The Knights lost forward Logan Geefs in the second period to a concussion. The Vernon forward is listed as day-to-day.

North Okanagan added forward Levi Harris to the roster. The Oliver product played in both weekend games, taking the roster spot vacated by the departure of Mitchell Lukacs to pursue his education.

The fourth-place Knights (6-6-1) host fifth-place Princeton Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, then visit Summerland Saturday.


Coyotes’ goalie unbeatable

If it’s any consolation to the North Okanagan Knights, the Sicamous Eagles and Princeton Posse also failed to score on Liam Aitken.

The Okotoks, Alta. product set a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League record Saturday in Armstrong, recording his third consecutive shutout as the Osoyoos Coyotes blanked the Knights 4-0 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Aitken, 18, has played three of the Coyotes’ (8-2-0) 10 games behind the team’s No. 1 goalie, 19-year-old Adam Jones, posting shutouts over the Eagles, Posse and Knights.

“Liam is everything we thought he would be,” said Osoyoos head coach Ken Law, who invited Aitken to the team’s main training camp after watching him shine at tryouts.

“He’s patient, square to the puck, nothing rattles him. He’s even tough on our guys in practice. He’s a very unassuming young man, very likeable. The three shutouts don’t really mean anything to him. He’s just happy that we’re winning.”

Coyotes game star Ryan Roseboom got the only goal Osoyoos would need at 16:43 of the opening period on a powerplay to open the scoring.

Roseboom added a second goal on a powerplay midway through the middle frame, and set up Brayden Durante 10 minutes later to make it 3-0 Coyotes after two periods.

Colin Bell, on a third period powerplay, rounded out the scoring.

“We played a pretty good game but we’re not happy with the outcome,” said Knights head coach Bryant Perrier.

“Their goalie played well. We had some opportunities on powerplays and open nets but didn’t bury them. We stressed getting pucks to the next and getting traffic in front of him, but when he’s playing like he is, it’s tough.”

Daniel Paul made 37 saves for the Knights (4-6-1).

“Our team play is generally pretty good but we want our record to be better,” said Perrier. “We have to stress the importance of being a good hockey team.”

North Okanagan lost forward Cameron Welch after he took a puck to the face, shattering his jaw.

Welch, 17, from Kelowna, has a goal and five points in 10 games. He’s expected to be out of the lineup until at least Christmas.

The Knights, fourth in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division, visit the last place Princeton Posse Friday, 24 hours before hosting the division-leading Summerland Steam Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Chiefs take out Knights

Chiefs take out Knights

North Okanagan Knights’ Joey Guerra and Kelowna Chiefs’ Brandon Palik race to the puck deep in the Chiefs’ end in KIJHL play Saturday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

North Okanagan Knights’ Joey Guerra and Kelowna Chiefs’ Brandon Palik race to the puck deep in the Chiefs’ end. The Kelowna Chiefs took on the Okangan Knights Saturday night at Norval Sports Centre in Armstrong.

posted Oct 12, 2016 at 10:00 AM

Bryant Perrier winced as two of his players took some questionable hits Saturday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

The North Okanagan Knights’ head coach/GM was upset at a 4-3 loss to the Kelowna Chiefs, but more choked at the way Reed Cashato and Matthias Urbanski were rocked.

Cashato was injured on a head shot by Tyler Love in the second period and will likely miss Saturday night’s home Kootenay International Junior Hockey League tilt against the 8-1 Osoyoos Coyotes.

“It’s intent to injure with some of their guys,” said Perrier. “Reed was completely blindsided on a line change and they get away with it.”

Love was assessed a minor penalty for head contact and a misconduct.

Later in the period, Urbanski was steamrolled by Brett Witala, who was given a charging major and game misconduct.

“He (Urbanski) went to the hospital and we thought it was a concussion but he got lucky. We know what we’re getting with them (Chiefs) but I told our guys they have to be aware of their surroundings. We took some stupid penalties which were undisciplined. Two points are more important (than retribution) at the end of the day.”

Perrier hopes the league takes a close look at both the Love and Witala penalties. Love has 30 penalty minutes in five games, while Witala has 50 minutes in nine tilts.

Logan Geefs put the Knights up 1-0 at 12:57 of the first period on a powerplay. Jack Berger, who took game star for North Okanagan with 2+1, and Jeff Schlenker earned helpers. It was Geefs’ fifth goal of the season.

Aidan Bar-Lev-Wise levelled the score 15 seconds later with Brendan Mongey and Love pocketing assists.

Ryan Pereverzoff put Kelowna in front five minutes later on a powerplay, Dakota Little and Witala collected assists.

Berger, a late cut of the BCHL West Kelowna Warriors, counted his first of the season at 13:48 of the second period. Dean Whitcomb and Cameron Welch set up the goal.

Joel Scrimbit and Brody Dale, with his team-high seventh snipe, converted goals three minutes apart midway through the final 20 to put the Chiefs ahead 3-2. Dale was chosen the Chiefs’ game star.

Berger clicked on a powerplay wirh 2:26 remaining. Layne Greene and Mitchell Cobbett bagged assists.

The Knights (4-5-1) pulled veteran goalie Daniel Paul after Kelowna’s fourth goal in favour of rookie Conor Webb. Kelowna beat Paul twice with deflections.

“Conor went in and shut the door on them; he played very well,” said Perrier.

The Knights outshot the Chiefs 31-27, including a 15-7 margin in the second period. Kelowna improved to 6-2.

Knights could not capitalize on special teams

The North Okanagan Knights in consecutive games out shot their opponent but special teams were the difference.  On Saturday night in front of a very nice crowd at the Nor-Val Arena the Knights came up short to the Kelowna Chiefs with a 4-3 loss.

Logan Geefs opened up the scoring for the Knights at the 12:57 mark of the first.  Assisting on the goal was Jack Berger and Jeff Schlenker.

But :15 seconds later the Chiefs tied the game.  The Chiefs then took a 2-1 lead going into the first period break.

The Knights scored on the Power play to tie the game when Jack Berger scored.  Assists going out to Dean Whitcomb and Cam Welch.

Kelowna scored at the 10:36 and 7:48 marks of the second to take a 4-2 lead.  Then Jack Berger scored his second of the night on the Power play. Assists from Layne Greene and Mitch Cobbett.

There was no scoring in the third period despite many opportunities the Knights had on the Power play, but they came up empty.

Final shots on goal were the Knights with 31 and Kelowna with 27.

Next home action for the Knights is Saturday, October 15th when the Osoyoos Coyotes travel to the the Nor-Val Arena.  Game time is 7:30 pm.

Knights Win On The Road

The North Okanagan Knights out shot and out played the Sicamous Eagles on Friday night and were rewarded with a 3-1 win at the Sicamous and District Recreation Complex.

Logan Geefs opened up the scoring for the Knights at the 15:48 mark of the first.  Assisting on the goal was Luke Harvie and Dean Whitcomb.  The Knights scored two minutes later at 13:49, Carl Main deflected a shot from the point.  Assisting on the goal was Reed Cashato and Jeff Schlenker.

Rounding out the scoring for the Knights with his second goal of the evening at 10:40 of the third period was Logan Geefs.  Assists went out to Luke Harvie and Jordan Popoff.

Bryce McDonald scored the lone goal for the Eagles with just under two minutes to play in regulation time.

Final shots on goal were the Knights with 47 and Sicamous with 22.


Knights Lose Close One To League Champs

Knights hit losing slide

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Opening night in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League was good to the North Okanagan Knights.

Since then, however, the team hasn’t been able to repeat the post-game victory celebration.

The Knights suffered their fourth straight loss Saturday, falling 4-3 at home to the defending league, provincial and Western Canadian Junior B champion 100 Mile House Wranglers at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights were down 2-0 Saturday 3:35 in on goals by Frazer Dodd and Garrett Hilton.

“It was a couple of flukey goals,” said North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier. “The loss wasn’t from a lack of effort. We battled back in the game.”

North Okanagan (1-3-0-1) rallied to tie before the end of the frame with powerplay goals from Brady Marzocco (sixth) and Dean Whitcomb (first). Reed Cashato gave the Knights its only lead with a shorthanded marker (first) at 10:34 of the second period.

The lead lasted only 45 seconds. as Hilton tied it with his second of the game, and, 100 seconds later, 100 Mile had the lead on a powerplay goal from Sam Bosek.

There was no scoring in the third period.

North Okanagan lost forward Luke Harvie in the game when he was cut for seven stitches above the eye by an errant elbow, something, Perrier said, is happening far too often in the league.

“There’s a fine line between chicken s–t and discipline,” said Perrier. “We’ve got to  get control of what’s going on on the ice. The spearing, slashing, head shots, checking from behind that goes on behind the play. We’ve told our players to stick up for themselves.”

The Knights were 2-for-6 on the powerplay while 100 Mile House went 1-for-6.

Brendan Henderson made 22 saves for the Wranglers (4-2) while Conor Webb stopped 31 shots for the Knights.

North Okanagan returns to action with a home doubleheader this weekend. The Knights entertain Kelowna Friday, and host the Kamloops Storm Saturday. Both games start at 7:30 p.m. at Nor-Val.


Grizzlies power past Knights

Grizzlies power past Knights

posted Sep 20, 2016 at 7:00 PM

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North Okanagan Knights of the KIJHL gained a single point last weekend.

It was a penalty-filled home opener for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s North Okanagan Knights.

But only the visiting Revelstoke Grizzlies scored with the man advantage.

The Bears beat the Knights 3-1 Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in a game that saw the teams whistled for 66 minutes in penalties, including 42 to Revelstoke.

Josh Rohatynsky scored the only powerplay goal at 11:22 of the opening period with the Knights’ Luke Harvie serving a two-minute tripping penalty.

Brady Marzocco gave the 310 fans something to cheer about when he got North Okanagan’s only goal at 10:20 of the second period, unassisted, to tie the game.

Jon Vandermolen got the winner with 5:54 left in regulation time for the Grizzlies, who picked up their first win of the season (1-2). Teammate Daniel Fisher added an empty-net marker with nine seconds remaining.

Revelstoke went 1-9 with the powerplay while the Knights were 0-7.

Vernon’s Michael LeNoury is the captain of the Grizzlies. Fellow Vernon product Jordan Rea is also with Revelstoke.

Giovanni Sambrielaz made 22 saves to pick up the win in goal while Rob Nawrot took the loss, making 21 stops.

The Knights (1-1-0-1) visit the Kelowna Chiefs (2-1) tonight at the Rutland Arena, then host the defending league, provincial and Western Canadian champion 100 Mile House Wranglers (2-2) Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

n The league has upheld a 45-day suspension and $500 fine to Castlegar Rebels head coach and general manager Bill Rotheisler for tampering (talking to players already signed to other teams in the league).

The Rebels appealed the decision but praised the league for its action.

“The appeal was submitted in hopes the 45-day suspension would be reduced because the initial information we received from the league indicated our coach would be suspended from all activities for 45 days, meaning he couldn’t even run practices,” said Mike Johnstone, team president.

“We felt that put our players in a very tough position because we’re a developmental league, and we didn’t feel it was fair to our players to penalize them by removing the instruction of their coach for 45 days. Bill made an unfortunate decision and breached league rules, as a result, he’s being punished for it. We support the league’s efforts to crack down on individuals who violate the rules, we were hoping to minimize the adverse effects on our players, they’re our number one concern.”