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Hustle and heart Sets us apart.

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

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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

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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.

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.