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Knights Make Play-offs

Knights Make Play-offs

posted Feb 21, 2017

Last game of the regular season. On the road with a playoff berth on the line.

The North Okanagan Knights handled the pressure with poise, brushing back the Princeton Posse 4-2 before 250 fans Saturday night.

The Knights clinched the fourth and final playoff spot in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Okanagan Division.

They open a first-round best-of-seven series Friday night in Osoyoos against the first-place Coyotes, a team the Knights tied a week ago.

North Okanagan finished at 15-29-2-1, three points ahead of the Posse. The Knights will not play the remainder of a game versus the Summerland Sting suspended Dec. 2 due to a blown transformer at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Summerland was leading 4-1 with 4:01 left in the second period when the lights went out.

Grindrod’s Jaden Hay scored twice as the Knights enjoyed period leads of 2-1 and 4-2 in Princeton. Hay  finished with 14 goals on the year.

The Knights obtained the 18-year-old veteran centre in a November trade for 17-year-old prize prospect Matthias Urbanski.

“He’s (Hay) done everything we’ve asked for and more,” said Knights head coach/GM Bryant Perrier. “He’s responded in a big way.”

Levi Harris, with his fourth, and Dean Whitcomb, with his 19th, also tallied for the Knights, who converted three powerplay goals.

“That was probably the best we’ve played all year,” said Perrier. “We have a young team but now it’s a case of maturity. We’re clearly the underdog against Osoyoos and we love it, but that last game with them was good. Some fans in the coffee shops here said it was the best they’ve ever seen the team here play.

“I told the kids it’s not how you start the playoffs, it’s how you finish them. They should feel good about making the playoffs, especially on the final night of the regular season.”

Lane French, with his first of the season, and Rylan Douglas, with his second, answered for the Posse.

Knights captain Layne Greene was awarded a penalty shot in the third period after being pulled down by Douglas. Greene unleashed a knuckler easily handled by Princeton goalie Jason Mailhiot.

Daniel Paul recorded 38 saves for his eighth win of the season.

Knights End Posse Season

Knights End Posse Season

Princeton Posse hosted North Okanagan Knights February 18th at Princeton Arena for their final regular season game. The Posse needed to win this match in order to have a chance at capturing the final playoff spot in their division. A loss the previous night to Summerland left Princeton one point behind the Knights who ended up in an overtime tie with Osoyoos February 17th.

The Knights pounded Princeton from the opening face off and scored their first goal at 16:45 of the first period. Jaden Hay got the point with help from Cameron Welch and Dean Whitcomb. The Knights extended their lead with a power play goal at 14:39 (Levi Harris from Chris Pedersen and Jason Shaigec). Princeton snuck in a goal at 1:51. The power play marker was credited to Lane French with assists going to Drew Carter and Kole Halvorson.

The second period saw Princeton start to unravel partway through collecting penalties and giving the Knights several power play opportunities. North Okanagan took advantage of one scoring at 19:46 to take a 3-1 lead. Jaden Hay got the goal with Cameron Welch earning an assist. The Posse bounced back at 15:32 scoring a power play goal of their own. Rylan Douglas scored the goal with help coming from Chad Kimmie and Morton Johnston. The Knights made it 4-2 with another power play goal at 5:34. Dean Whitcomb was credited for it along with teammates Jaden Hay and Cameron Welch who both received assists.

The third period saw more missed opportunities with goalies out of position or without sticks. At 5:46 Rylan Douglas of the Posse earned the Knights a penalty shot which was taken by captain Layne Greene. Posse goalie Jason Mailhiot blocked the attempt with his body and was later pulled for an extra man but there was no further scoring.

Final Score: North Okanagan 4, Princeton 2. Shots on Goal: Princeton 40, North Okanagan 36. Penalties in Minutes: North Okanagan 8 for 16-minutes, Princeton 14 for 51-minutes.

Knights Pull Out Huge Road Win

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.

GAMES REMAINING:

NORTH OKANAGAN (7*):

HOME: 100 Mile House, Princeton, Osoyoos, Summerland*;

AWAY: Osoyoos, Kamloops, Princeton.

PRINCETON (6):

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.

Penalties Hamper Knights

Penalties hamper Knights

posted Jan 31, 2017

Penalties were a weekend problem for the North Okanagan Knights.

The Kootenay International Junior HockeyLeague squad took one out of a possible fourpoints and fell further behind the PrincetonPosse in the battle for the Okanagan ShuswapDivision’s final playoff spot.

The Knights played the Kelowna Chiefs in Rutland Tuesday.

Kolten Moore’s powerplay goal with 7:56remaining in the third period Saturday provedto be the winner as the Chase Heat beat theKnights 3-2 at the Art Holding Memorial Arena.

The goal came with Knights’ leading scorerBrady Marzocco in the penalty box for interference.

Marzocco atoned for the penalty by scoring on a penalty shot – his 20th goal of the year –with 5:34remaining. The Knights pressed for the equalizer but couldn’t get another one past Heat goalie ZakLarson.

Josh Bourne and Travis Beaubien – on the powerplay – staked Chase to a 2-0 first-period lead beforeLevi Harris, with his second of the season, got the Knights on the board with the man advantage.

Conor Webb made 29 saves for the Knights while Larson finished with 32 saves.

The night before, at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, North Okanagan killed off a high-sticking minor toLayne Greene with 99 seconds left in regulation, then killed a Jeff Schlenker two-minute trippingminor in the first overtime, to salvage a 2-2 draw – and a valuable single point – against the KelownaChiefs.

Josh Kobelka forced overtime for the Chiefs when he scored on a powerplay with 3:39 left in regulation with Drayton Martin off for tripping.

Marzocco scored twice on special teams – one shorthanded and one on the powerplay –for the Knights, who got a 42 save effort from Webb. Brandon Gaucher made 38 saves for Kelowna, whohold down thir place in the division at 18-18-2-2.

North Okanagan was 12-25-1-1 heading into Tueday’s rematch with the Chiefs, and trail the Posse(12-23-1-4) by three points with a game in hand on Princeton. The Posse won their only weekendgame, 3-1, at Kelowna.

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.

GAMES REMAINING:

PRINCETON (7):

HOME: Osoyoos, Chase, Summerland (2), North Okanagan;

AWAY: Sicamous, North Okanagan.

NORTH OKANAGAN (8*):

HOME: 100 Mile House, Princeton, Osoyoos, Summerland*;

AWAY: Kelowna, Osoyoos, Kamloops, Princeton.

*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 beplayed if it’s imperative to playoff standings, and will start with 4:01 left in the second period with Summerland ahead 4-1.

Knights Sitting Outside Playoff Spot

Knights sitting outside playoff spot

posted Jan 24, 2017

The Princeton Posse are on a roll. In fact, they’ve rolled into playoff position.

That’s bad news for the North Okanagan Knights.

The Posse (11-23-1-4) scored three unanswered goals to double the Knights 4-2 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday in Princeton.

The win, coupled with Princeton’s 2-1 victory over the Kamloops Storm Friday, moved the Posse into the final Okanagan Shuswap Division playoff spot, two points up on the Knights, losers of four straight.

North Okanagan (12-24-0-1) has two games in hand, and will play Princeton twice (once at home, once on the road) before the end of the regular season.

After the Posse opening the scoring in the first period, the Knights tied game before the end of frame, courtesy of Cameron Welch’s sixth of the season, and third goal in his last two games.

Jack Berger scored his sixth on a power play 63 seconds into the second period to give the Knights a 2-1 lead. Princeton scored twice before the end of the frame, and added insurance on a two-man advantage eight minutes into the third period.

Bobby Milligan made 34 saves for the win, while Daniel Paul stopped 24 in taking the loss.

North Okanagan hosts the third-place Kelowna Chiefs Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, and visit the Chase Heat Saturday.

GAMES REMAINING:

NORTH OKANAGAN KNIGHTS (10): HOME: Kelowna, 100 Mile House, Princeton, Osoyoos, Summerland.

AWAY: Chase, Kelowna, Osoyoos, Kamloops, Princeton.

PRINCETON POSSE: (8): HOME: Osoyoos, Chase, Summerland, North Okanagan; AWAY: Kelowna, Sicamous, North Okanagan, Summerland.

Knights have a game slated for Tuesday, Feb. 21 vs Summerland. This is the completion of a game postponed Dec. 2 due to a transformer issue at Nor-Val Sports Centre with Summerland leading 4-1 with four minutes left in second period. The game will only be completed if it’s paramount to playoff implications.

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.