Jackson Gimpel of the Osoyoos Coyotes boards Louis Shortreed of the North Okanagan Knights in KIJHL play off action Tuesday night at the Norval Sports Centre. Image credit: Lisa Mazurek/Morning Star

Knights end year with OT loss

KIJHL: Osoyoos Coyotes sweep North Okanagan for second year in a row

Bryant Perrier lost his voice so he left the post-playoff speech to assistant coaches Graham Watkins and Liam McOnie.

The message was simple: Don’t hang your heads. Come back next year stronger, fitter and more committed.

Perrier, who signed a three-year deal as bench boss of the North Okanagan Knights, was content with his youthful team’s showing in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.

The Knights, who only lose 20-year-old captain Layne Greene of Vernon to graduation, lost 3-2 in overtime to the Osoyoos Coyotes Tuesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre. The Coyotes, who topped the Okanagan Division 43 points ahead of the Knights, swept the first-round, best-of-seven playoff series.

“The talk we heard from Osoyoos was that as this series went on, we got tougher to play against,” said Perrier. “we consumed a lot of energy in the first game when we struggled (8-1 loss), but we cut their shot count way down in Game 4. Osoyoos had three rookies in their lineup. Give them all the credit. They’re a championship team; if they can hold it together, they can win the whole league.”

League MVP Colin Bell, a 19-year-old Terrace product, corralled a fluky bounce off the back dasher and beat Daniel top shelf at 9:38 of overtime before 175 fans in Armstrong. Judd Repole and Daniel Stone drew assists.

“It was a terrific Game 4,” said Perrier. “We had nobody quitting. Everybody worked hard. We finished things off strong and we finally have a base here; the team is in good shape. We made the playoffs back-to-back after missing them for three season.”

The Knights lost veteran d-man EJ Shaw and crafty centre Logan Geefs at Christmas for personal reasons, and Perrier said it was impossible to replace that high-end talent. He and his staff have brought academics and community involvement up to higher levels, enhancing the team’s image big time.

The Knights will expect more offence next year. They scored just 119 goals, fifth worst in the 20-team Junior B loop. Brady Marzocco of Vernon was the team’s leading scorer with 21 snipes and 37 points. Whitcomb, with 19 goals, and Jaden Hay of Grindrod, with 14 despite missing a dozen games, were the only Knights in double-digit scoring.

Kyle Sherwood of Vernon and Dean Whitcomb of Prince George handled the Knights’ offence Tuesday night. Repole, game star for Osoyoos, and Austin Steger provided the other Coyote snipes.

Osoyoos outshot North Okanagan 33-27. It was 1-0 Coyotes after one period and 2-1 Knights after 40 minutes. The Coyotes went 2-for-3 on the powerplay, the Knights 0-for-5.

The Coyotes will meet either the Summerland Steam or Kelowna Chiefs in Round 2. That series was square at 2-2 going into Thursday night in Summerland.

Just Posted

Okanagan residents can win ride in army vehicle

A social media campaign offers the chance to win a ride in the Dragoons armoured vehicle

Reel Reviews: War from both sides of the desk

We say, “Forgive these films their faults and they will be entertaining enough.”

Residents should keep air intakes clear of snow

Silver Star Fire Department is encouraging residens to keep their air intakes clear after snowfall

Okanagan inventor to appear on Dragon’s Den

Marco Longley, who successfully pitched The HEFT in 2012, to reappear for development update

Provincial program offers assistance to agricultural producers

AgriStability Enhancement Program benefits agricultural producers who saw an income decline in 2017

PHOTOS: Icing the competition

Skate Canada 2018 Okanagan Regional Championships skated through Vernon this weekend

Street Sounds: Rolling with the Stones

The Stones’ On Air is a blast from the past in every sense

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

Sledding revved for recovery centre

Adult and Teen Challenge BC’s Sled for Eternity returns to SilverStar Mountain Resort Feb. 24

VIDEO: Protesters rally for affordable housing ahead of B.C. budget

Residents call on province to keep locals housed

Update: Highway 97C reopened following multi-vehicle incident

Highway 97C is closed to eastbound traffic near Pennask Summit following an incident Sunday afternon

Brakemen pulling out all the stops for 2018

Kettle Valley Brakemen planning some surprises

#Metoo movement causing confusion in many men, fear of missteps with women: experts

Being painted by the same sweeping brush as those alleged to have mistreated women has angered men

Liberals to dig deeper, aim higher on gender equality in 2018 federal budget

Finance Minister Bill Morneau said the budget would include measures to boost women in the workforce

Most Read