Knights reach playoff semis

The North Okanagan Knights Atom Development team lost 3-2 to the Chase Chiefs in semifinal action of the Okanagan Mainline Senior Atom Development Hockey League Michie Conference playoffs last weekend in Clearwater.

The Knights opened the scoring with a powerplay goal by Mitchell Brown but the Chiefs countered with a goal four minutes later in the first period.

It was scoreless until early in the third period when Chase converted a powerplay before adding an insurance marker with seven minutes to play.

Brown scored again with three minutes left but the Knights could not tie the game up with the goaltender on the bench for the extra attacker. Matthew Dolinar and Wesley Graves each added two assists for the Knights, who received strong goaltending from Wyatt Fowler.

“We struggled to put the puck in the net even though we had a number of good chances throughout the game,” said head coach Tony Dolinar. “You had the feeling early on that goals were not going to come easy and it became a defensive struggle with both goaltenders playing very well.”

The Knights tied for first in round-robin play in their pool and opened with a 9-3 victory over the Clearwater Blackhawks.

Graves pulled the hat trick, while Dolinar added 2+3 and singles came from Brown, Jake Crandlemire, Devon Canning and Michael Kormany. Kord Haller and Ethan Maarhuis added two assists each.

Game 2 saw the Knights surrender five early goals in losing 8-5 to the Revelstoke Grizzlies.

Dolinar scored twice with singles going to Brown, James Francis and Austin Clarke. Griffin Evans chipped in with two assists.

The Knights finished preliminary play by defeating the Merritt Centennials 9-5 with Haller and Graves each collecting two goals and Dolinar and Brown each supplying 1+3.

Canning, Damian Coljee-Fehr and Kormany contributed singles. Caedon Bellmann played a solid game in goal, while Crandlemire and Canning each had two helpers.

The Knights finish off the season this weekend in the South Okanagan Atom Fiesta Tournament in Osoyoos.