Twenty-four hours after suffering their first regulation-time defeat, the North Okanagan Knights returned to their early-season winning ways in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
The Knights rebounded from a 5-2 road loss to the Sicamous Eagles Friday to defeat the visiting Nelson Leafs 5-3 Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
North Okanagan spotted Nelson an early 2-0 first-period lead before defenceman Lee Christensen and forward Kevin-Thomas Walters scored for the home team to tie things up after 20 minutes.
Christensen added his second of the game in the middle frame, giving him a team-leading eight points on the year, while fellow blueliner Cole Haberlack also scored to give the Knights a 4-2 lead heading into the third period.
Nic Bolin’s unassisted goal was the Knights’ fifth in a row before Nelson rounded out the scoring late in the game.
Sean Kanervisto made 27 saves to pick up his third win of the year.
The night before, Kanervisto made 33 stops while Sicamous counterpart Cole Steinke made 36 saves for the Eagles in a wide-open contest.
After a scoreless first period, the Eagles scored three straight goals before Tyler Jamieson, with his first KIJHL goal, and Cade Enns, with his second, pulled the Knights to within a goal heading into the final 20 minutes.
It was the Eagles, though, who did the scoring in the third with a pair of markers, handing North Okanagan (4-1-0-1) its first regulation-time loss.
The Knights are second in the Bill Ohlhausen Division, one point back of the league’s only undefeated team, the Kelowna Chiefs (5-0-0-0).
The Leafs (0-3-0-3) and the Osoyoos Coyotes (0-7-0-0) are the league’s only winless teams.
North Okanagan continues a four-game homestand when they host the Princeton Posse (2-1-0-1) Tuesday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. The Knights will entertain Sicamous Friday and the Beaver Valley Nitehawks Saturday.