Dyment resilient as North Okanagan Knights rebound

Zach Dyment backs North Okanagan Knights to 2-1 overtime win over Kelowna Chiefs in KIJHL action Saturday night.

North Okanagan Knights’ netminder Zach Dyment was shelled for 10 goals Friday night in Osoyoos.

When head coach Shawn Webb looked to his keeper to see if he wanted out, Dyment shook his head and went on to finish a thankless night’s work.

Webb rewarded Dyment’s perseverance with another Kootenay International Junior Hockey League start Saturday night. The 17-year-old Abbotsford product responded with a 31-save performance, helping North Okanagan to a 2-1 overtime win over the Kelowna Chiefs at Rutland Arena.

On a delayed Kelowna penalty, Knights’ veteran Tanner Burns came on the ice as an extra attacker and, cruising to the net, redirected a Dennon Leibel feed for the winner.

“It was a good rebound win,” said Webb. “We went right back with the same lineup.

“It says a lot about Dyment. In the 10-2 loss he played really well. We rewarded him with the start and he played fantastic.”

Scoreless after 20 minutes, the 5-3-0-1 Chiefs scored first on a goal by Jagger Bowles, assisted by Alex Gran.

Still stunned by their listless effort a night earlier, the 6-1-0-1 Knights returned to form in the third period, equalizing on an Austin Garrington point shot.

“By the third period, we were playing good hockey again, and if you look at our record, we’re pretty confident in overtime,” said Webb. “When it hit, we definitely caught our stride.”

The Knights cap a seven-game road schedule with a three-game weekend starting Friday night against the Spokane Braves (2-9). North Okanagan then visits the 6-1 Beaver Valley Nitehawks Saturday, followed by a Sunday matinee with the 4-4-1 Grand Forks Border Bruins.

Meanwhile, Vernon’s Ryan Beach pocketed his first-ever KIJHL goal as the Chase Heat bounced the Creston Valley Thunder Cats 7-5 on Sunday.

Beach scored on a point shot late in the first period to give Chase a 3-2 lead going into the break.

The Heat, featuring Armstrong energy forward Travis Church, opened the weekend with a 3-1 win over the Sicamous Eagles.