The North Okanagan Knights served notice Friday night that they belong with the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League elite.
The Knights used goals from six different skaters as they battered the league-leading Kamloops Storm 8-2 Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
With Storm starter Lyndon Stanwood signing full time with the BCHL Trail Smoke Eaters, North Okanagan wasted no time getting pucks at netminder Wade Moyls, who gave up eight goals on 19 shots.
Singles by Sean Mulcahy and Josh Wickenheiser, and a pair by Patrick Chore had North Okanagan up 4-0 after the first period.
“We just shot the puck and it seemed like a lot of them were going in,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette. “The momentum that we gained just propelled us.”
Kamloops responded with a powerplay goal from Zach Tjader in the second frame, but Vernon’s Ryan Scheidt, recently acquired from the Chase Heat, came right back for the Knights with his first-ever KIJHL goal in his team debut. Call-up Mat Lambert, another Vernon native, earned the assist.
“He (Scheidt) had a very good debut. He set the bar for himself,” said Mallette.
The Knights’ Eric Chore, Brady Janzen and Brett Hawrys of Armstrong scored just over two minutes apart early in the third period.
Kamloops’ Ryan Skinner put one by a rock-steady Dustin Nikkel (24 saves) midway through the final period.
The 16-8-0-1 Knights visited the 17-5-0-1 Revelstoke Grizzlies Saturday night at the Forum. The two teams battle again Wednesday in Armstrong.