Morning Star Staff
Right now, it’s the biggest goal of the season for the North Okanagan Knights.
Forward Mitchell Cobbett’s fifth goal, with 5:49 remaining, gave the visiting Knights a 2-1 win over Princeton Sunday afternoon, and a sweep of a key Kootenay International Junior Hockey League home-and-home series with the Posse.
Cameron Welch and Scott Latwat picked up assists on Cobbett’s game-winner.
North Okanagan (8-20-1-4) has won three of its last four and holds a six-point lead on the Posse (7-23-0-1) in the battle for fourth place in the Okanagan Shuswap Division, though Princeton has a pair of games in hand.
“That was a collective team effort against a team that is always tough to play against,” said North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier. “Their goaltending was good, they work hard and take our space away. But we prevailed with a huge road win.”
The Knights dominated the opening 20 minutes, outshooting Princeton 17-1 but managed one goal past Posse netminder Stephen Heslop, a powerplay marker from Welch (sixth), who was named North Okanagan’s game star. Mitchell Lukacs and Jack Berger drew assists.
“There was some frustration (on only being up one goal),” said Perrier. “We had some real good looks and great chances to score but it seemed we would shoot wide, or we would miss an open net or the puck would bounce over a stick.”
Princeton tied it in the second on a shorthanded marker from game star Drew Carter at 4:07.
The Knights outshot Princeton 34-18 with Daniel Paul picking up his sixth win of the season.
North Okanagan closes out the first half of the season Sunday in Osoyoos against the division-leading Coyotes.
The Knights return after the Christmas break with a New Year’s Eve battle in Princeton. Next home game for North Okanagan is Saturday, Jan. 2, against Osoyoos at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Kelowna Chiefs shut out the Posse 4-0 Saturday in Rutland.
Vernon’s Nick Higgs scored at 1:37 of overtime as the Revelstoke Grizzlies shaded the Kamloops Storm 3-2 Saturday night at the Forum.
Higgs, a 17-year-old d-man, was a late cut of the BCHL Vipers. It was his first KIJHL goal. He has four assists.
Kaden Black has 5-4-9 with Revy, while Jeff Bochon has three goals in 11 games. Captain Kenny Batke has two helpers and 48 penalty minutes, while fellow d-man Griffin Fried has one goal and three points.
The Storm won the return match 3-1 Sunday in Kamloops with Zach Andrusiak of Armstrong getting 1+1.
Andrusiak, 17 has 14 goals and 29 points with the Storm since being sent down by the Vipers. Kamloops leads the Doug Birks Division.