North Okanagan Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette will take the two points, but he is far from satisfied with how his team earned them.
The Knights fired six unanswered goals, but hit the kill switch in the third period as they coasted to a 6-3 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the Kelowna Chiefs Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
“We put together two phenomenal periods, but for some reason in the third we became complacent,” said Mallette. “They scored three quick ones and we just stood there watching.
“We’re a good team; if we could put together 60 minutes, we’d be a great team.”
The Chore brothers, Patrick and Eric, paced the Knights’ attack with two points apiece. Eric had two goals and Patrick added 1+1. Mallette credits them with a lot of North Okanagan’s success in the last four games.
“They’re skating to those areas you need to go to get rewarded,” said Mallette, who is happy to see Eric shooting the puck more.
“If they’re going, other guys are following suit.”
Goals by Mateja Leko, Justin Murray, on a 2-on-1, and Eric put the 10-3 Knights up 3-0 after 20 minutes.
Singles by John Saunders (powerplay), Patrick and Eric doubled that lead after two periods.
Kelowna battled back on goals by Dane Rupert, former Knight TJ Dumonceaux and Landon Andrusiak.
Dustin Nikkel made 26 stops for the win, while Tyler O’Donnell allowed three goals on 16 shots before giving way to Connor Wilkinson.
It was a tough homecoming for former Knight captain Shawn Holliday, as the Armstrong native earned a pair of roughing minors and a misconduct late in the game.
The Knights visited the Sicamous Eagles (4-9) Saturday night, and will host the Golden Rockets (5-5-0-1) in a 2:45 p.m. matinee today at Nor-Val.