Burns jumpstarts Knights

Tanner Burns pocketed 2+1 as the North Okanagan Knights shelled the Revelstoke Grizzlies 6-2.

Vernon product Tanner Burns scored twice and set up another as the North Okanagan Knights iced the Revelstoke Grizzlies 6-2 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Friday night in Armstrong.

Dustin Nikkel recorded 49 saves and earned first star before 300 fans at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. The Knights entertained the Penticton Lakers Saturday night.

“Dusty’s been unreal for us,” said Burns, 19. “He’s very athletic and he works really hard with (goaltending coach) Brett Thomlinson. I think he only started playing goal in Bantam.”

Colton Thibault of Vernon, captain Steven Pantazopoulos, Mat Lambert of Vernon and Tyler Bolduc also scored for the Knights.

“We have a good young team and everybody seems to get along,” added Burns. “When you have a strong goalie behind you, it makes everybody want to work that much harder.”

Devon Hascarl of Vernon and Brayden Beckley replied for the Grizzlies, whose head coach, former Vernon Viper captain Kevin Kraus, walked away unscathed after falling asleep and totalling his truck in an accident Wednesday night near Sicamous.

Matt Saharchuk and Derek Andrews each pocketed a pair of assists for the Knights, who improved to 6-1-0-1, second-best in the KIJHL.

The Grizzlies dropped to 4-3-0-1.