The lack of pressure allowed the Summerland Steam to stop the North Okanagan Knights 3-1 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action. The Knights mustered just three shots on net in the third period at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The 1-3-0-1 Knights have lost three straight, and had a chance to take a bite out of the 4-1 Steam, second in the Okanagan Division.
“It’s tough,” sighed Knights’ head coach Jim Armstrong. “I thought we looked OK in the first 40, but to be outshot 18-3 in the third period when we are down 2-1 is disappointing and unacceptable.
“It comes down to hunger and intensity. I know we are a young team and we are finding ourselves, but we need more than that.”
The Steam opened the scoring from Wyatt Gale at 15:45 in the first, from Riley Pettitt and Jarrett Malchow.
The Knights drew even just over a minute later as Thomas Pattison converted from Austin Garrington.
Garrington has been consistent to start the season playing alongside dee partner Matthew Halvorson.
Garrington, a 5-foot-11 Vernon product, leads the Knights with a goal and four points.
“Austin has a tremendous shot and he finds a way of getting it on net,” said Armstrong.
Jack Mills scored the winner with 2:21 remaining in the second, from Braden Eliuk. Pettitt added the insurance halfway through the third from Malchow.
Knights’ backup netminder Brady Lenardon saw his first action of the season turning away 40 shots.
“Brady was absolutely fantastic in his first game. He looked a little nervous but then he bared down,” said Armstrong.
Lenardon won the Midget Tier 1 provincial championship last year with Kelowna Fripps Warehouse Rockets.
The Knights host the 1-3-1 Kelowna Chiefs tonight and head to Summerland for a rematch Saturday night.