Knights surge in third to knock off host Rockies

The North Okanagan Knights used a third-period outburst to brush back the Columbia Valley Rockies in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Invermere.

The North Okanagan Knights used a third-period outburst to brush back the Columbia Valley Rockies in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday night in Invermere.

Playing their first road game of the season, and first of a three-game away schedule, the Knights built up a 2-1 lead after 40 minutes on goals by Mateja Leko and Steve Pantazopolous.

Chel Anderson was credited for the Rockies’ lone goal, but it was Knights’ d-man Sean Mulcahy who suffered a brain cramp and accidentally put the puck in his own net.

Josh Wickenheiser and Eric Chore each recorded powerplay goals early in the third frame before Cory Hochhausen and Thomas Swales completed the North Okanagan attack with singles.

“We played 50 minutes of scrambly hockey, and 10 minutes of the way we’re capable of playing,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette, noting the Rockies are only just starting to round out their roster.

“We need to play a certain way, regardless of who we play.”

Mallette auditioned Kelowna netminder Dustin Nikkel Friday night. The puck-handling tender made 13 stops for the win.

The Knights faced the Golden Rockets Saturday night, and end their road schedule tonight against the Kamloops Storm at McArthur Park Arena.