Bolduc banks overtime winner for Knights

Defenceman Tyler Bolduc used the extra room in three-on-three overtime wisely Saturday night at McArthur Island Arena in Kamloops.

The 18-year-old Salmon Arm product scored the winner, with 69 seconds remaining, as the North Okanagan Knights shaded the Kamloops Storm 4-3 in double OT.

The Knights moved to 18-8-1-2 in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, two points back of the Doug Birks Division-leading Sicamous Eagles, 5-1 winners Saturday over the Princeton Posse.

“It was a hard-working goal,” said Knights’ rookie winger Colton Thibault. “He jumped into the rush, took a pass from Steven Pantazopoulos and first-timed a forehand top shelf.”

First star Morgan Johnston, with his 14th and 15th goals of the season, and Brett Hawrys, with his seventh, also scored for the Knights. Johnston forced overtime midway through the third period with Josh Ellis drawing the assist.

Thibault, a 17-year-old Vernon rookie who assisted on Johnston’s second-period snipe and recorded the monster hit of the night, was chosen third star.

“I was hitting guys a lot and finishing my checks,” said the 6-foot-2, 180-pound Thibault, fifth in Knights’ points with 6-14-20. “There are bigger guys and there is a lot more physicality than quad (Major Midget).

“I’m having a lot of fun. We’re coming together now and respecting each other more. We just have to keep supporting one another.”

Connor Fortems, with his 10th and 11th goals, and Devin Oakes, with his sixth, replied for the fourth-place Storm (12-15-2-4), who visit the Knights Friday night (7:30, Nor-Val Sports Centre).

North Okanagan outshot Kamloops 43-35 with Austin Buzzell taking the win and Marcus Beeley the loss.

The Knights visit the 14-11-3-1 Revelstoke Grizzlies Saturday night and entertain the Grizz in a Sunday matinee (3:00).

Meanwhile, the league voted 15-2 in favor of the sale and relocation of the Penticton Lakers to 100 Mile House for next season.

Andy Oakes, president of the Okanagan Hockey School which owns the Lakers, said he’s positive about the sale.

“I think the community of 100 Mile House is a quality community for the KIJHL,” Oakes told Black Press Sports. “I think it’s exciting for the league to be going into a new market.”

Oakes, who dealt with 100 Mile House president Tom Bachynski and his group, said he feels they will be a solid franchise.

The team will be known as the Wranglers.


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