North Okanagan Knights centre Austin Fournier challenges Kamloops Storm defenceman Austin Crossley in KIJHL action Sunday afternoon at the Nor-Val Centre.

Knights hit goal drought

The North Okanagan Knights were gracious Thanksgiving weekend hosts in the KIJHL.

Morning Star Staff

The North Okanagan Knights were gracious Thanksgiving weekend hosts.

The Knights (3-7-0-1) scored only once in a pair of Kootenay International Junior Hockey League losses at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The goal came Saturday, at 9:55 of the first period from game star Graham Watkins (team-leading fourth of the year), in a 7-1 setback to division rivals Kelowna Chiefs.

The Knights have since gone 110 minutes and 55 seconds without scoring, as they dropped their fourth game in a row Sunday, 3-0, to the Doug Birks Division-leading Kamloops Storm.

Only the Golden Rockets (14) and Grand Forks Border Bruins (20) have scored fewer goals this season than the Knights (21).

“No question, goals are hard to come by right now,” said North Okanagan head coach Bryant Perrier. “Saturday’s game was the first time this season we just got lost. We were all over them for the first 10 minutes, then we get one little piece of adversity and it snowballs. Sometimes you go through that.

“The next night, we played a very good team, it was 1-0 for the most part, and we had our chances.”

The Chiefs (5-5-0-0) got 2+1 from game star Josh Kobelka and went 3-5 on the powerplay Saturday in front of 180 fans at Nor-Val.

Kelowna outshot North Okanagan 37-22, chasing Knights starting goalie Daniel Paul after scoring three times in the first period. Tristan Quiring played the final two periods.

Paul rebounded Sunday to be named North Okanagan game star as he made 27 saves with the Knights being outshot 30-23 by the Storm, who scored the winner at 19:54 of the first period.

Kamloops, which owns the best record in the league at 10-1-0-1, put the game away with two goals in the final frame before 120 fans. Spencer Eschyschyn recorded the shutout.

“We gave Kamloops shots from the perimeter, outside the dots, top of the blue, but they had maybe three quality chances after the first (period),” said Perrier. “We changed our systems after the first period and played better in the second and third. Blaine Caton had two breakaways.

“We’re not going to panic. I’m not concerned about (won-loss) records. I’m concerned about the process.  We have to keep the group calm and we’re trying to find ways to get better.”

The Knights hit the Kootenays this weekend against the top three teams in the Neil Murdoch Division in the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (8-2), Castlegar Rebels (8-2) and Nelson Leafs (5-5).

Former North Okanagan head coach Jim Armstrong has been named head scout and director of player development for the KIJHL’s Revelstoke Grizzlies. Armstrong was behind the Knights bench for the 2014-15 season.

 

 

Just Posted

Vernon student off to UBCM with council

Cadence Taron, a Grade 12 student at Fulton Secondary, applied to attend annual convention

City of Vernon to develop Civic Arena site into park

Planning process approved by council; construction to start in 2020 or 2021

Vernon RCMP superintendent helps with arrest

Supt. Shawna Baher arrests man for theft; turns out to be suspect in assault and robbery

Vernon Vipers open BCHL training camp

Defending Interior Conference champs open pre-season slate Friday at home vs Grande Prairie (AJHL)

No costs as directed upsets Vernon councillor

Scott Anderson and council still waiting for as-directed costs on hiring private security firm

VIDEO: Could we BE any more excited? ‘Friends’ fans go crazy for merch

Movie theatres will show select episodes to mark the NBC series’ 25th anniversary

Penticton man sentenced in non-fatal 2017 shooting

Elkena Michael Knauff sentenced to seven and a half months in jail

Bodies of two missing Surrey men found near Ashcroft

Ryan Provencher and Richard Scurr have been missing since July 17

Kamloops RCMP locate and arrest man who fled from police

The 22-year-old male was wanted in relation to a domestic violence investigation

Five hedgehogs quickly adopted after being left at BC SPCA

Lucky new owners picked up their pets from Maple Ridge branch on Aug. 20

COLUMN: Much to enjoy at Ryga Arts Festival

As I learn about George Ryga and his contributions, it is clear why this festival carries his name

Kelowna man arrested after allegedly setting blaze near Fire Department

The man was allegedly seen lighting bushes on fire near the Kelowna Fire Department

B.C. cricket players get interrupted by racist remark

Community has had protocols in place for years to respond to prejudice

Most Read