Posted Feb 26, 2016 at 4:00 PM
The effort was better in game two, but the result was the same for the North Okanagan Knights.
Braeden Tuck’s goal at 18:27 of the third period gave the Osoyoos Coyotes a 4-3 win over the Knights Wednesday, and a 2-0 lead in their first-round, best-of-seven Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff series.
Games 3 and 4 are tonight and Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor- Val Sports Centre.
“We were more prepared to play Wednesday,” said Knights head coach Bryant Perrier. “In Game 1, a handful of guys were caught off-guard, they didn’t understand the work and intensity needed to play against a team that’s been around.
“Our push-back was a lot better Wednesday. We did a good job controlling the middle of the ice until the winning goal.”
Tuck’s goal came 64 seconds after Mitchell Cobbett tied the contest for North Okanagan who, for the second straight game, jumped out a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes.
In a carbon copy of the series opener Tuesday, a 5-2 Coyotes victory, the home team opened the scoring before the Knights rallied.
Patrick Nicholson tied the game on the Knights’ only powerplay opportunity at 4:33 while Graham Watkins gave the Knights the lead at 18:41.
The Coyotes scored twice in the second on Knights game star Daniel Paul, who made 56 saves as Osoyoos outshot North Okanagan 60-27. The Coyotes were 1-4 on the powerplay.
Paul was the Knights’ game star in the opener, making 36 saves as Osoyoos outshot the Knights 41-19, and outscored North Okanagan 4-0 over the final 40 minutes.
Brady Marzocco and Nicholson, on a powerplay, scored less than two minutes apart early in the first period to give North Okanagan a 2-1 lead.
The Coyotes tied the game on a powerplay late in the frame, scored the winner in the second and added two insurance goals in the final 20 minutes.
“We’ve told the guys we’re the underdogs with nothing to lose in this series and we love it,” said Perrier. “But we have to compete at a level sufficient to match an experienced team. In Game 1 we didn’t do that. Game 2 we did.”
Former Knight Zack Andrusiak of Armstrong compiled 2+1 as the Kamloops Storm edged the Chase Heat 4-3 in the opener of their series Tuesday.
The Heat won Game 2 Wednesday, 6-1, to tie the series at a game apiece.
Vernon’s Kaden Black plays for the Heat. Vernon’s Kenny Batke earned two assists for Revelstoke but the Grizzlies lost 4-3 in double overtime to the hometown 100 Mile House Wranglers in the first game of their series Wednesday.