Knights cruise

Steve Pantazopoulos supplied 2+2 as the North Okanagan Knights ended a two-game skid with a 7-3 drubbing of the host Chase Heat Saturday night at Art Holding Memorial Arena.

Steve Pantazopoulos supplied 2+2 as the North Okanagan Knights ended a two-game skid with a 7-3 drubbing of the host Chase Heat Saturday night at Art Holding Memorial Arena.

The Knights, third overall in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Okanagan/Shuswap Conference at 5-3, visit the Sicamous Eagles Saturday night.

“We figured it out in the second and third periods the way we have to play to be successful said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette. “Our forwards were coming back and supporting our dee and it turned into a lot of odd-man rushes for us.

“We were doing things a lot better than we had been in the previous two or three games.”

After a scoreless first period, Nathan Browne, making his Knights’ debut, and 16-year-old Quinnton Sutherland, with his first of the season, had North Okanagan up 2-1 midway through the second period. Singles by the Heat’s Dylan Richardson and Pantazopoulos made it 3-2 after 40 minutes.

“He (Sutherland) had a smile ear-to-ear. It was good for him to get the monkey off his back,” said Mallette.

The Knights dominated with their systematic play in the third frame, getting further offence from Patrick Chore, Steve Sipprel, Eric Chore and Pantazopoulos in support of netminder Dustin Nikkel (18 saves).

Jordan Vallance, a Vernon native, recorded 19 stops for the 0-8 Heat.

The Knights’ Ben Greenaway and Brendan Jost, and the Heat’s Wade Cline and Owen Barker, an Armstrong product, were tossed for fighting in the third period.

Vernon’s Jared Seutter earned an assist on Chase’s first goal.