Atom Knights claim crown

The North Okanagan Knights iced the South Okanagan Jr. Coyotes 6-4 Sunday.

  • Mar. 14, 2012 11:00 a.m.

The North Okanagan Knights stopped the South Okanagan Jr. Coyotes 6-4 in Sunday’s  Atom Development Michie Conference hockey finals at the Nicola Arena in Merritt.

It was 1-1 after one period with captain Mitchell Brown scoring for the Knights, assisted by Scott Gilowski and Eli Dwyer.

Kord Haller scored early in the second, assisted by Nicholas Walker and Trevor Kennedy, but the Coyotes quickly tied it up. A late second-period goal by Scott Gilowski, assisted by Haller and Brown, put the Knights up by one. Dwyer scored a quick goal early in the third which was quickly answered by the Coyotes.

Marlea Best buried her second of the tournament  and the season, on a feed from Bryan Brew and Brett Harder to keep the two-goal Knights’ lead before the Coyotes answered.

Kennedy scored the insurance goal, assisted by Walker, with two minutes left in the game.

“We have a talented team that showed up at every game to work hard, and more importantly, they showed up at practice to work hard and were able to see the benefits of this at the end of the year,” said Knights’ head coach Don Brew, assisted by Mat Graves, Randy Zbytnuik, Dave Evans and Laurie Haller.

“Every player was able to contribute points and both goalies were stellar during the playoffs.”

The Knights opened the playdowns by grounding Summerland 13-4 behind 4+3 from Wes Graves and 2+2 from both Alex Gilowski and Brew.

Brandon Matvenko, Best, Haller and Michael Kormany added singles, while Harder supplied three helpers. Scott Gilowski, Walker, Brown, Dwyer and Griffin Evans each earned two assists.

North Okanagan then smothered the Penticton Jr. Vees 8-2 with Haller and Dwyer each producing a pair of goals. Singles came from Brown, Brew, Graves and Alex Gilowski.

The Knights finished the round-robin by crushing Chase 15-4 with Walker counting 4+1 and Scott Gilowski puling the hat trick.

Graves and Matvenko each netted two goals, while singles went to Kennedy, Haller, Brown and Harder.

In the semifinals, Brown converted, from Alex Gilowski and Evans for the winner, as the Knights rallied to clip the Merritt Jr. Centennials 4-3.

The Cents led 2-0 before Graves scored unassisted at the end of the first. Walker added another solo effort in the second to equalize.

Kennedy, on a feed from Walker and Brett Zbytnuik, put the Knights ahead for the first time in the game, but the Cents quickly answered.Goaltending in all five games was shared by Caedon Bellmann and Easton Hunter.

The Coca-Cola Midget Tier 2 Vipers iced the Westside Warriors 6-2 in exhibition play Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors knew that the Vipers were shorthanded and playing some AP players, so they tried to intimidate the Vipers early on, but couldn’t compete where it mattered.

Nik Wasylyk (AP) opened the scoring with a great finish on a beautiful rush by Matt Halvorson (1+3), who scored one of his own a few minutes later to put the Vipers up by a deuce.

Scott Latwat (AP) put the Vipers up 3-0 with a couple of minutes left in the first, when the Warriors started taking some foolish penalties.

Vernon head coach Rob Spraggs said one Warrior viciously ran Wasylyk from behind to get a major penalty and a game misconduct, which was followed shortly by another major penalty to the Warriors for running Vipers’ goalie Bruin Stair.

Chad Thomas (2+1) capitalized late on a feed from Carson Tucker (2A) and Wyatt Warnes (2A) to make it 4-0 after the first period.

“We asked them up for a friendly game, which wasn’t very friendly and I think we surprised themwith how good a hockey team we really are,” said Coke assistant coach Scott Flood.

 

The game settled down when the Warriors came out in the second to play hockey, but they had no answer for the Vipers’ speed and precision passing. Goals by Brandon Rysen and Thomas sealed the game for the Vipers.