Grizzlies put end to Knights’ unbeaten streak

Revelstoke Grizzlies edge North Okanagan Knights 4-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday

Brady Mende’s powerplay goal midway through the third period stood up as the game-winner, as the Revelstoke Grizzlies edged the visiting North Okanagan Knights 4-3 Friday.

The loss stopped the Knights’ Kootenay International Junior Hockey League unbeaten streak at five games.

North Okanagan (9-21-3-4) played in Sicamous Saturday against the Eagles, who sit last in the Doug Birks Division at 8-22-2-5.

The Knights opened the scoring less than two minutes in on a powerplay marker of their own, courtesy of Ryan Moon (7th).

Mende tied the game for Revelstoke (17-15-1-2) and the Grizzlies took a 2-1 lead into the third on a goal in the middle frame from Ryan Hozjan.

Newly signed forward Brady Marzocco got his first KIJHL goal to tie the game early in the third for the Knights before the Grizzlies took the lead for good with the winner from Ullar Wiatzka at 8:01, and Mende’s powerplay snipe two minutes later.

Layne Greene, with his sixth, scored with the man advantage with 27 seconds left to get the Knights within one.

The game marked the official debut of new Knights forward Marzocco, 16, signed this week from the Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers Midget Tier 2 reps.

“He played three games for us as an affiliate player and did very well,” said Knights head coach and general manager Bryant Perrier. “We like his speed, tenacity and intelligence.”

Daniel Paul made 32 saves for the Knights in making his 12th straight start. North Okanagan fired 26 shots at Revelstoke netminder Trevor Dilaura.

North Okanagan played without the services of leading scorer Graham Watkins, who began serving the first of a three-game suspension for a checking from behind major penalty in the final 10 minutes in a game Jan. 2 against Osoyoos.

Even with the loss, the Knights stayed seven points ahead of the Princeton Posse in the battle for the fourth and final playoff spot in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division.

The Posse lost 2-1 Friday in 100 Mile House to the Wranglers

The league’s trade deadline is today with the Knights hoping to make at least one more deal as they have two player cards to be used.