North Okanagan Knights double Nelson Leafs

North Okanagan Knights double Nelson Leafs 4-2 in KIJHL play Friday in the Kootenays.

Tanner Cochrane is proving to be quite the pickup for the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s North Okanagan Knights.

The 20-year-old forward from Kamloops turned the natural hat trick, and drew an assist on the Knights’ other goal as they doubled the host Nelson Leafs 4-2 Friday night.

Cochrane, who played last season with the BCHL Chilliwack Chiefs, has 6-1-7 in five games with North Okanagan.

It was the 13-11-0-1 Knights’ fourth straight win, and the league-leading Leafs’ (20-2-1-3) second regulation loss all season.

North Okanagan, who slid past the Summerland Steam and into third in the Okanagan Division,  visited the Castlegar Rebels (12-10-1-3) Saturday night at the Castlegar Complex.

Mitch Profeit backed the Knights with a 16-save effort Friday, while Blake Culbert chipped in with 2+1. Brett Hawrys and Mat Lambert also drew helpers.

Travis Wellman and Alec Wilkinson responded for Nelson.

North Okanagan visits Summerland (12-11-1-1) Tuesday before entertaining the Princeton Posse (7-16-0-3) Friday at Nor-Val Sports Centre.