The Chase Heat had a hot goalie Friday.
Nic Bruyere made 48 saves to earn game star honours in leading the Heat to a 5-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the North Okanagan Knights at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
It was the Knights’ final game before the Christmas break.
Pat Brady, Travis Beaubien and Brett Alexander staked the visitors to a 3-0 lead four minutes into the second period.
The Knights, though, kept firing away at Bruyere and were finally rewarded when Jack Berger scored his fourth of the year at 5:38.
Drayton Martin, with his third, on a powerplay, pulled the Knights to within a goal at 18:53.
Michael Fidanza and Josh Bourne scored a minute part at 1:35 and 2:35 of the final period to put the game away for Chase.
Vernon’s Kaden Black was held off the Heat scoresheet.
Daniel Paul finished with 29 saves.
Chase (20-8-0-0) leads the Doug Birks Division by three points over the Kamloops Storm.
The Knights enter the break with an 11-18-0-1 record in the Okanagan Shuswap Division.
The Princeton Posse pulled to within three points of the fourth-place Knights Friday with a 4-2 win at home over the third-place Kelowna Chiefs. The Knights, who are nine points behind Kelowna, will visit the Chiefs in their first game after the Christmas break on Thursday, Dec. 29.
Next home game for North Okanagan will be Friday, Jan. 6, against the Posse at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
n The league handed the Chiefs a total of 16 games in suspensions for initiating a second-period melee Dec. 10 versus the Knights. Head coach Jason Tamsen was given five games, as was the player who instigated the skirmish, forward Elliot Pickrell. Three other Chiefs were suspended for their roles.
Kelowna forward Brady Dale was given a three-game suspension for a check to the head minor and misconduct in the final 10 minutes of the game.
A suspension to Knights forward Jaden Hay was rescinded, and given instead to forward Carl Main, who sat out Friday.