Sean Mulcahy supplied the winner on a third-period powerplay as the North Okanagan Knights clipped the Sicamous Eagles 3-2 Saturday night at the Sicamous Recreation Centre.
Brothers Patrick and Eric Chore drew the assists as the Knights improved to 6-3, good enough for a share of third place in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Okanagan/Shuswap Conference.
Brendan Devries opened the scoring for the 3-6 Eagles in the first period before the Knights stormed back with three unanswered goals.
“We made some strides from the week before, but we still have to clean up our defensive play,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette.
John Saunders, with his first of the season, put North Okanagan on the board with a point shot in the second period. Cory Hauchhausen put the Knights in front with a buzzer beater to end the second period.
“Our guys played to the whistle and were rewarded. Their guys looked like they were skating off the ice,” said Mallette.
With Dustin Nikkel called up to the BCHL Westside Warriors for the weekend, rookie netminder Colten Wright, a Salmon Arm native, recorded 32 saves for his second win.
“He kept us in it for sure. When they pulled their goalie for the extra attacker, he made some big saves,” said Mallette.
Sicamous netminder Kris Drott made 24 stops.
The Eagles’ Jagger Bowles, taking advantage of a missed assignment, pulled the hosts within a goal by burying a shot on a rush. Wright shut the door after that.
The Knights will face a range of talent as they head into a three-game weekend. They open against the 7-4 Osoyoos Coyotes Friday at the Sunbowl and visit the 5-2-0-1 Princeton Posse Saturday at Princeton Arena. They host the winless Chase Heat (0-11) in a 2 p.m. matinee Sunday at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
“We’ve got a big weekend coming up. It’ll be a good test for our kids. We’re trying to instill that we play the same way regardless of who it is. We want to find that consistency,” said Mallette.
Meanwhile, Armstrong’s Owen Barker and Vernon’s Jared Suetter and Ryan Scheidt recorded helpers as the Heat fell 6-4 to the host Creston Valley Thundercats Sunday at Johnny Bucyk Arena.
Dylan Richardson led the Heat with three goals in support of Vernon’s Jordan Vallance (29 saves).
The Thundercats’ Michael Hails, another Vernon minor hockey product, recorded 12 saves and the win as he split netminding duties with Tyler Moffatt.