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Knights Down 2-0 To Coyotes

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.

 

Knights Open Play-offs In Osoyoos

On paper, the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s first-round playoff series between the North Okanagan Knights and Osoyoos Coyotes is a gross mismatch.

But the series is not played on paper.

The Coyotes – who enter Game 1 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday at the Sun Bowl having won their last 12 regular season contests – finished first in the Okanagan Shuswap Division at 41-9-1-1 (only the defending champion Kimberley Dynamiters had a better mark at 41-7-0-4).

Osoyoos tied for the most goals scored (224 with Beaver Valley Nitehawks) and set a new KIJHL record for fewest goals allowed in one season, 93. No other team allowed less than 100.

The Knights – losers of their last three and 2-7-0-1 in their last 10 entering the series – finished 48 points behind the Coyotes at 14-30-3-5, scored nearly half as many goals (116) and allowed 159 goals against.

The Coyotes boost the KIJHL’s scoring champion in Rainer Glimpel, who had 30-55-85. North Okanagan’s leading scorer, Graham Watkins, amassed 13-24-37.

The Knights, however, are the only Okanagan-Shuswap Division team to have beaten the Coyotes (who won the season series with North Okanagan 5-2-1) twice.

Both wins came in their last four meetings, both in Osoyoos, and the Knights are 2-1-1 in the last four with the Coyotes.

The Knights closed out the regular season Sunday with a 4-1 loss (Jordan Bautista, 1st) in Summerland, the back end of a home-and-home with the Steam, who won 4-3 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre Saturday. Trent Redschlag (7th), Patrick Nicholson (6th) and Austin Fournier (11th) scored for the Knights.

Fournier and Brady Marzocco (6th) scored for North Okanagan Friday in a 4-2 loss to the hometown Kelowna Chiefs.

KNIGHTS VS OSOYOOS COYOTES

Game 1: Tuesday Feb. 23, at Osoyoos;

Game 2: Wednesday, Feb. 24, at Osoyoos;

Game 3: Friday, Feb. 26, Nor-Val Sports Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Game 4: Saturday, Feb. 27, Nor-Val Sports Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Game 5*: Monday, Feb. 29, at Osoyoos;

Game 6*: Tuesday, March 1, Nor-Val Sports Centre, 7:30 p.m.

Game 7*: Wednesday, March 2, at Osoyoos;

* – If necessary.

Berger Boosts Knights In OT

Posted Feb 17, 2016

And on their 56th shot, the North Okanagan Knights had a Sunday afternoon win.

Jack Berger’s sixth goal of the year 4:17 into overtime – on the team’s 56th shot of the game – gave the Knights a 3-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the Princeton Posse at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The win ended a five-game home stand for North Okanagan, which saw the team go 2-3.

Brady Marzocco, who has five goals on the year – three in the last three games – forced overtime with a powerplay goal with 20 seconds left in the second period.

He tied the game 2-2 with a goal two minutes earlier. Marzocco, a recent signing from the Vernon Home Hardware Tier 2 Midget Vipers, was named the Knights’ player of the game.

Chandler Billinghurst made 53 saves to earn Posse player of the game honours.

Tristan Quiring made 18 saves for North Okanagan, who fell 3-0 Saturday at home to the Summerland Steam.

Matthew Huber made 28 saves for the Steam. Daniel Paul stopped 27 shots for the Knights, who played the weekend homestand without leading scorer Graham Watkins, suspended for a checking to the head penalty received Friday in a loss to the Chase Heat.

The Knights (14-27-3-5) will close out the regular season with three games in three nights, starting Friday in Kelowna against the Chiefs.

North Okanagan’s final regular season home game is Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against the Steam, the front end of a home-and-home series.

The league’s first-round best-of-seven playoff series will start on eight fronts Feb. 23. The Knights will visit the Osoyoos Coyotes.

Rainer Glimpel supplied 2+2 and Reid Wilson also scored twice as the Coyotes crushed the host Grand Fork Border Bruins 10-1 Sunday.

The Coyotes lead the Okanagan Division at 38-9-1-1.

North Okanagan Knights Fan Support

During the remaining regular season and throughout the play-off campaign it is incumbent upon the Team Ownership, Armstrong Civic Administration and Community Business Leaders to become an integral element in the support of the North Okanagan Knights Hockey Club.

Encouragement and fan support within the community at large is a fundamental aspect that cannot be over-stated.

ACTIVELY SUPPORT these young athletes.  North Okanagan Knights Hockey is more than a game; it is part of your COMMUNITY IDENTITY.

Your Truly,

A Strong Supporting Fan Of The North Okanagan Knights Hockey Club

Chase Heat Melt Knights

Chase Heat Melt Knights

posted Feb 14, 2016

The last weeks of the Kootenay International Hockey League’s regular season have different meanings for the North Okanagan Knights and Chase Heat.

The Knights (13-26-3-5), will finish fourth in the Okanagan Division and will play the Osoyoos Coyotes in the first round of the playoffs.

The Heat, 3-1 winners over the Knights Friday night at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, have a slim shot of finishing second in the Doug Birk Division and home ice advantage in round one.

Chase’s win Friday left the Heat (28-15-3-2) seven points behind the 100 Mile House Wranglers (3-2 winners Friday over the Sicamous Eagles) and eight behind the Kamloops Storm (who beat Revelstoke 4-1) with only four games left.

Tommy Brown and Michael Fidanza staked Chase to a 2-0 first-period lead Friday.

Brady Marzocco, with his third of the year, cut the lead to 2-1 with five minutes left in the second period.

Travis Beaubien, on a powerplay 4:22 into the third period, gave the Heat some insurance.

Daniel Paul made 27 saves for the Knights, who were outshot 30-25. Nic Bruyere picked up the win for the Heat.

The Knights, who took on the Summerland Steam Saturday, wrap up three games in three days at home this afternoon against the Princeton Posse.

Face-off is 1 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

 

North Okanagan Knights In KIJHL Play-offs

North Okanagan Knights in KIJHL playoffs

posted Feb 10, 2016

The team the North Okanagan Knights will likely face in the first round of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs is the one who officially invited the Knights to the post-season.

The Osoyoos Coyotes, who need only a single point in their final six games to clinch top spot in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division, eliminated Princeton with a 5-0 win over the Posse Saturday.

The Posse, who fell 4-1 to the Knights Friday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, are 13 points back of fourth-place North Okanagan with both teams having six games left to play.

North Okanagan fired a season-high 62 shots at Princeton goalie (and Posse player of the game) Adam Jones Friday, but needed three unanswered third-period goals to snap a four-game losing streak.

Player of the game Austin Fournier (9th), with the winner, Colin Robin (12th) and Dallas Keller (2nd) scored in the third for the Knights. Patrick Nicholson (5th) scored in the first for North Okanagan, who got 15 saves from winning goalie Daniel Paul.

North Okanagan takes on the Chase Heat Friday,  and the Summerland Steam Saturday, both games at 7:30 p.m., and the Posse Sunday at 1 p.m., all at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

BCHL

The Vernon Vipers looked to move closer to clinching the fourth and final playoff spot in the Interior Division Tuesday when they took on the Centennials in Merritt.

Vernon will host the Langley Rivermen Friday at 7 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

The Vipers stayed five points up on the fifth-place Trail Smoke Eaters despite being idle over the weekend.

The Smokies dropped a home-and-home series to the West Kelowna Warriors, losing 9-0 Friday and 4-1 Saturday. Trail played in Salmon Arm Tuesday.

Vernon has three games in hand on Trail, and have played one less game than Merritt. The Centennials are six points back of the Vipers.

 

North Okanagan Knights Most Improved Team In KIJHL Since October

Nitro’s Night in Kimberley – All Your Kimberley Dynamiters Information in ONE Place! (unofficial, unaffiliated).

Most Improved KIJHL Teams since September & October

This project spurred after the Columbia Valley Rockies were not the hottest team in the KIJHL in the last Power Rankings, which was a surprise to me. So I thought I’d try to figure out which teams have improved the most since September and October using the Power Rankings system.

So how this works, is I subtracted the current Power Ranking Total from the September/October Total.

So let’s look at the Most Improved Teams since September’s Power Ranking:

Rank TEAM Feb TTL Sep TTL Diff
1 100 Mile House Wranglers 29 61 32
2 North Okanagan Knights 47 65 18
3 Summerland Steam 37 51 14
4 Chase Heat 27 39 12
5 Grand Forks Border Bruins 55 65 10
6 Kamloops Storm 27 36 9
7 Osoyoos Coyotes 13 18 5
8 Fernie Ghostriders 29 32 3
9 Kimberley Dynamiters 10 13 3
10 Castlegar Rebels 28 29 1

Knowing that September can be a hot or rough start for some teams, I thought it would be fair to also look at the most improved teams since October as well:

Rank TEAM Feb TTL Oct TTL Diff
1 North Okanagan Knights 47 70 23
2 Osoyoos Coyotes 13 31 18
3 Beaver Valley Nitehawks 18 30 12
4 Chase Heat 27 35 8
5 100 Mile House Wranglers 29 34 5
6 Summerland Steam 37 42 5
7 Columbia Valley Rockies 49 54 5
8 Sicamous Eagles 66 70 4
9 Kamloops Storm 27 28 1
10 Princeton Posse 70 70 0

Thoughts:

  • The North Okanagan Knights have made tremendous strides since September and October.
  • 100 Mile House has improved greatly from a slow September, and has since relatively leveled since then.
  • Osoyoos Coyotes have also appeared to overcome a “slow” September and October, noting that they were still ranked in the Top 10 both months.
  • My hope of proving numbers wise that Columbia Valley has greatly improved, back-fired, while they appear 7th on the October list, they don’t appear on the September list. For me this indicates that they are a stable team, and with stability comes victories. So in short, my theory is that their play was efficient, but has only recently translated to wins – a stabilization of Power Rankings and Standings.
  • Keep these improved teams in mind when it comes play-off time, it means that they are beginning to hit their stride and their peak.

A Message From A Fan – THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT!

The dedication and support of your coaching staff has allowed you to individually and collectively participate in a structural evolution.

Through the honest pursuit of improvement you have developed a culture that will carry you into the impending adventure of play-off hockey.

The commitment to excel during the remaining regular season is crucial.  Your success during this period will create and impose an intimidation factor upon any competitor encountered.

Finish the season demonstrating and maintaining the commitment, determination and personal development that created the turning point and achievement of post season play.

Mobilize; take your teammates as far as your collective skill will and desire allows.

Destiny is not to be waited for, it is a participation sport. No regrets, leave it all on the ice.

Good Luck

Knights Dominate Posse

The North Okanagan Knights were coming off what was a tough outing less than 48 hours ago against one of their divisional rivals to rebound and dominate Princeton 4-1 on Friday night at the Nor-Val Arena.  The Knights from start to finish put an exclamation point to a fast skating, good passing and a well executed contest.  Time of possession was almost double for the Knights.  They set season highs for shot on goal in a period (28) and shot totals for the game (62).

Patrick Nicholson opened the scoring assisted by Layne Greene and Jack Berger.  At 11:36 of the third period, Austin Fournier scored the game winner on the power play, assisted by Trent Redschlag and Graham Watkins.  Princeton pulled their goalie with over four minutes in a desperation move to try and tie the game.  Colin Robin took advantage and scored into an empty net to extend the Knights lead to 3-1.  The Knights energy line finished the game off with an all business and workman like effort goal.  Dallas Keller made it 4-1, assists go out to Mitchell Lukacs and Joey Guerra.

With the win the Knights have put a strangle hold on the final play-off position moving ahead of Princeton by 13 points.  Princeton has seven games remaining for a total of 14 points available.  This means one loss for Princeton and / or one win for the Knights would clinch a play-off berth into the Okanagan/Shuswap Division for the swordsmen.

The Knights power play went 1 for 7 on the night.

Daniel Paul played a solid game in goal for the Knights.

Flu Ridden Knights Lose 5-2 To Kelowna

The flu ridden North Okanagan Knights played without key members in their line-up on Wednesday night against the Kelowna Chiefs.  The out come was not in favor of the Knights as they bowed 5-2 to Kelowna Chiefs.  “It was a tough situation for our guys said, Bryant Perrier.  During this time of the year every team faces the dog days of hockey developing flues and sickness.  Over half our team has been sick over the past week.  We have to get people back healthy and hopefully tomorrow night the guys will feel better and ready to rebound from a difficult game last night.  Everyone has to find a way to battle through this kind of adversity and come out on top.  This is just everyday life and our club is going through it at the moment.”

Layne Greene scored the Knights first goal, assisted from Joey Guerra.  The Knights second goal was scored by Colin Robin, assisted Austin Fournier and Brady Marzocco.

Shots in the game were Kelowna 37 and North Okanagan 22.

The Knights power play was 1 for 5.

Next game for the Knights is Friday, February 5th when they take on the Princeton Posse.  Game time is 7:30 pm.