The North Okanagan Knights were one shot away from their first two-game Kootenay International Junior Hockey League winning streak of the season.
However, Brody Dale’s second goal at 4:08 of overtime gave the hometown Kelowna Chiefs a 2-1 win over the Knights Sunday.
North Okanagan snapped a 14-game winless streak Saturday with a convincing 5-1 win over the Spokane Braves at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Knights (4-14-1-4) visit the Princeton Posse (5-15-0-1) tonight in a fourth-place Okanagan Shuswap Division battle.
“It was good for the guys,” said head coach Bryant Perrier of Saturday’s victory, which came a day after he made good on his word of improving the team.
Perrier sent former Knights forward Zac Andrusiak of Armstrong to the Kamloops Storm in exchange for three players: defencemen Andre Piquette and Patrick Nicholson, and forward Ryland Chernomaz.
“Nicholson was a top-four defenceman in Kamloops, and here he’ll be a top one-two,” said Perrier. “He gives us instant credibility on the back end. Piquette keeps the game simple, moves the puck well and doesn’t get put into harm’s way.
“Chernomaz makes us a whole different team. His work ethic is second to none and that’s what we needed.”
Andrusiak, from Armstrong, spent time at the end of last season and beginning of this year with the Western Hockey League’s Tri-City Americans before being released. He ended up with the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers, who didn’t have room for him on their roster.
Andrusiak had four goals and two assists in his first three games with the Storm.
“We’re not done yet,” said Perrier in regards to tweaking the lineup. “We have to keep building.”
Dale opened the scoring Sunday in the first period. Ryan Moon equalized in the second for the Knights with his second of the year, set up by Trent Redschlag and Joey Guerra.
Daniel Paul made 33 saves and was named North Okanagan’s game star. The Knights were outshot 35-18 by the Chiefs (13-6-2-2).
Veteran forward Colin Robin scored twice Saturday, including his team-leading seventh of the year, to help the Knights snap their lengthy skid.
Cameron Welch (fourth) and Jordan Fidanza (first), along with Robin’s deuce, staked the Knights to a 4-0 lead midway through the third before Lance Noonen spoiled Paul’s shutout bid with 5:46 remaining.
Graham Watkins (sixth), on a powerplay, rounded out the Knights scoring. Liam Molloy and Redschlag each had two assists. Paul made 32 saves for the win as the Braves outshot North Okanagan 33-31.
The Knights host the Grand Forks Border Bruins Friday, 7:30 p.m., at the Nor-Val Sports Centre before returning to Kelowna for a rematch with the Chiefs Saturday.
The Golden Rockets picked up their first win of the season Saturday, dumping the Eagles 6-1 in Sicamous.