Morning Star Staff
Blaine Caton bid farewell to his beloved grandfather and then scored twice as the North Okanagan Knights stopped the Summerland Steam 3-1 at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.
It was quite the emotional Friday for the 18-year-old Vernon product, playing his first Kootenay International Junior Hockey League of the season after being released three weeks ago by the Vipers.
“I went to my grandpa’s service today in Vernon and my dad (Murray) went up to Chetwynd for the burial service,” said Blaine, 18. “My dad wanted me to stay here and play hockey which is what my grandpa would have wanted. I felt good out there considering I hadn’t played a game in more than a month and a half.”
Caton took a breakaway feed from linemate Graham Watkins and deked goalie Austin Wells before sliding the puck into the net, making it 2-1 with seven minutes left in the third period. Caton added an empty netter with 43 seconds to play, assisted by other linemate Austin Fournier.
Jack Mills, on a powerplay three minutes in, gave Summerland the lead before Ryan Ignace responded for the Knights nine minutes later, from Mitchell Lukacs and Trent Reschlag.
The Knights improved to 3-3-0-1 in front of 200 fans. They visit Summerland (4-2) this afternoon.
“We’re going to have a hard-working, physical team that will wear teams down in the third period,” said Caton, who had six goals with the Vipers last year, including two in the playoffs.