North Okanagan Knights’ Patrick Chore looks around for the best way to get the puck past Chase Heat’s Aiden Silzer-Hooker in KIJHL action Sunday afternoon.

Knights find groove

North Okanagan Knights stay undefeated in October with fifth straight KIJHL win.

They got clutch goals from Patrick Chore and solid netminding from rookies Dustin Nikkel and Colten Wright.

The rest of the North Okanagan Knights also earned their showers as the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League team stretched its winning streak to five games last weekend.

Chore scored his fifth and sixth goals of the season as the Knights shut down the winless Chase Heat 5-0 in a Sunday matinee at Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Chore, a Kelowna product, had both snipes Saturday night as the Knights clipped the host Princeton Posse 2-1.

“He worked hard for those goals,” said Knights’ captain Steven Pantazopoulos, a 6-foot, 200-pounder who is on crutches after been hit knee on knee by Reece Forman of Chase midway through the third period Sunday.

“I tore the MCL in my right leg,” said Pantazopoulos, a 19-year-old forward. “Hopefully, I’ll have an MRI done tomorrow and depending how bad it is, I could be out two to three weeks or four to six.”

Forman, a 6-foot-2, 195-pounder, was assessed a kneeing major and game misconduct on the play.

Kris Mallette’s Knights are 9-3 and undefeated in October.

“Coach has us going,” said Pantazopoulos. “The guys know we can win each night, just knowing the tools are there. It’s a nice feeling.”

The Posse grabbed the lead 93 seconds into the first period on Devon Grossler’s powerplay goal. Then, Chore, who leads the Knights with 6-12-18, went to work.

“He’s got good hands,” said Josh Wickenheiser, second in Knights’ offence with 4-12. “His first goal was on a breakaway (unassisted) and his second was a back-door, tap-in (assists to linemates Ben Chore and Ben Greenaway).”

Nikkel took second star behind Chore with 30 saves.

The Knights picked apart the hapless expansion Heat, getting other goals from Bruce Koch (third), Cory Hochhausen (seventh) and Mateja Leko (eighth). Koch earned second star behind Patrick Chore. Wright made 14 saves for the win.

Wickenheiser said the Knights are playing a high-tempo style of hockey for success.

“We were moving our feet which keeps us moving the puck quickly up the walls and helps us get into the defensive zone,” said Wickenheiser. “Once we get into the defensive zone, we have lots of talent and depth on offence. We’re very creative.”

The Knights host the 4-8 Kelowna Chiefs Friday, visit the 4-8 Sicamous Eagles Saturday and entertain the 4-4-0-1 Golden Rockets in a Sunday 2:45 p.m. tilt.

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