The North Okanagan Knights kicked off their 2023-24 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season with a 4-1 loss to the Castlegar Rebels on Friday night, Sept. 22.
A crowd of 170 turned up at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Centre to watch the Knights begin their campaign, but the wind was taken out of the home team’s sails just 1:46 into the first period when Reid Gerrard opened the scoring, assisted by Donovan Ouellette and Logan Arsenault.
Carson Haugan got the Knights on the board towards the end of the first, with helpers going to Cash Anderson and Gage Parrell.
After the killing of a five-on-three Knights powerplay midway through the second, Coen Grosjean restored the Rebels’ lead with a goal, assisted by Keegan Gamble and Reid Gerrard.
Evan Lemke added another goal for the Rebels less than a minute later. Nate Jackman had the lone helper on the goal.
The shots were even in both the second and third periods, but it was the Rebels that found the back of the net on their opportunities. Joshua Gamble rounded out the scoring with a goal at the 17:18 mark of the third period, assisted by Daytn Kulynych.
Castlegar goaltender Ethan Lawczynski was named the game’s first star, making 35 saves on 36 shots. Knights goalie Cayden Hamming allowed four goals on 31 shots in his first start for the team.
The Knights are back in action on Saturday, Sept. 23, as they take on the Summerland Steam at the Summerland Arena at 7:30 p.m.