Morning Star Staff
The North Okanagan Knights were asked to shoot the puck more and pay attention to defensive assignments in Game 2 of their playoff series with the Summerland Steam.
The youthful Knights responded to both requests and more as they smothered the Steam before 200 fans Wednesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.
Summerland, who won the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Okanagan Division title, finishing 20 points ahead of the Knights, took the best-of-seven series opener 3-2 Tuesday night at home.
“We had 17 shots in the whole game down there and we had 15 in the first period of Game 2,” said North Okanagan head coach Shawn Webb. “We were trying to be too pretty in the first game. The other difference was our physical play in Game 2 and we were more patient when we had the puck.”
Vernon’s Blaine Caton, who signed last week with the BCHL Vipers for next season, finished with 3+1 in Wednesday’s win. He was on a line wirth Brett Hawrys and TJ Christensen.
“Caton scored two beautiful goals off the halfwall. He found a seam and went top shelf.”
Salmon Arm product Logan Mostat, who has been summoned by the BCHL SilverBacks seven times, also pulled the hat trick. Mostat took some sweet feeds from linemates Dennon Leibel and Morgan Johnston and finished off the rush.
Johnston and Ryan Kelm had the other Knights’ goals, while Dylan Burton, Rylan Sideroff and Daylan Robertson replied for the Steam, all on the powerplay. D-man Ryley Booth bagged three assists for the Knights.
The Knights chased starter Brett Huber after Caton made it 6-2 late in the second period. Zach Dyment went the distance in both games for the Knights.
In Game 1 before 225 fans, the Steam went up 2-0 midway through the second period on snipes by Burton and Reid Brown. Matt Halvorson and Tanner Burns replied in the final two minutes to equalize. Blake Culbert drew two assists.
Olli Dickson netted the winner at 5:44 of the third period, on the powerplay.
The Knights, who lost the season series to Summerland 5-3, have held Division MVP and rookie of the year Kienan Scott pointless.
Game 3 goes tonight in Summerland with the fourth game Saturday night in Armstrong. Game 5 is Sunday in Summerland.
Webb will again ask his troops to stick to the system.
“They play a very similar style to ours. We’ve gotta move the puck out of our zone, get them to turn it over in the neutral zone, and attack.”
The Osoyoos Coyotes are up 2-0 on the Kelowna Chiefs after posting 5-2 and 5-0 victories in the other Okanagan Division series.
Kelowna finished second, seven points up on the Coyotes.