Knights stumble

Grizzlies bury North Okanagan Knights 9-3 in KIJHL action Wednesday at Revelstoke Forum.

Vernon’s Michael Roberts turned in a three-point, first-star performance as the host Revelstoke Grizzlies thrashed the North Okanagan Knights 9-3 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Wednesday night at the Forum.

The Grizz, now second in the Doug Birks Division, raced out to a 4-1 first-period lead on a pair of goals by Kyle Schwartz, and singles from Vernon’s Tye Sanford and Roberts, who added two helpers.

Ben Greenaway, assisted by third star Tanner Burns of Vernon, answered for the Knights, who are a point back of Revelstoke at 27-12-0-1.

“It was a repeat of last year – there was nobody there to compete and they got off to a strong start,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette. “They had their way with us last night.

Mallette replaced starter Dustin Nikkel with Aaron Brandoli, a Vernon product acquired from the Sicamous Eagles at the trade deadline, late in the first period. The duo combined for 35 saves. Grizzlies’ netminder Ethan Wood recorded 39 stops.

The Grizzlies kept rolling in the second period on goals by Vernon’s Cole Sanford, Reid Blinkhorn and Tyler Reay. Burns, scoring on a powerplay late in the frame, responded for the Knights.

Austin Donaldson and Marc Letourneau tallied for Revelstoke in the third period. Bryce Koch bagged a single for North Okanagan.

The Knights visit the Penticton Lakers Saturday at the South Okanagan Events Centre.