North Okanagan Knights battle tonight at Nor-Val

The North Okanagan Knights took care of the pretenders on the weekend. Tonight, it’s game on against a contender as they entertain the Sicamous Eagles (7:00) at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights have 10 games remaining, including three versus the Eagles. Sicamous is three points back of the first-place Knights in the Doug Birks Division, but have two games in hand.

“Sicamous went all the way last year and they have 16 returning players so this is a big game for us,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette. “Our forwards are more dynamic; theirs are hard-working and greasy. We match up pretty good.”

North Okanagan (28-11-1-2) edged the last-place Chase Heat 4-3 Saturday night before 200 fans at Art Holding Memorial Arena.

The Knights outshot the Heat 47-18 and spotted them an early 2-0 lead before levelling the score with goals by Matty Saharchuk (21st) and Mac Ferner (7th) late in the first. Connor Richards (7th) and Mat Lambert (17th)  registered Knight snipes in the second period.

Shelby Kostyshen, Michael Rand and Marc Mackenzie countered for Chase (9-28-3-2).

The Knights, who stuffed the last-overall Grand Forks Border Bruins 5-2 the night before, host the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (28-12-3-1) Friday night (7:30).

Lambert drew the assist on Ferner’s equalizer with 28 seconds left in the first period. The 18-year-old Vernon rookie has 43 points, tied for second on the team with Saharchuk.

“He’s done a fantastic job for the most part,” said Mallette. “He’s been one of our most consistent forwards.”

Austin Buzzell recorded the win in Chase. He’s 12-4 with a 2.68 GAA.


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