Skip to content

North Okanagan Knights hand Kelowna 11th straight loss

KIJHL – Knights hang on for 5-4 win over reeling Chiefs Sunday, Jan. 29, at Rutland
The North Okanagan Knights celebrate their third KIJHL win in as many nights Sunday, Jan. 29, following a 5-4 victory over the Kelowna Chiefs at the Rutland Arena. (Tanya Seibel photo)

Great news for the Kelowna Chiefs.

Defenceman Zack Peitsch was released from hospital Sunday, Jan. 29, 48 hours after taking a stick to the throat and damaging his windpipe in a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League game Friday in Grand Forks.

“He has a lengthy recovery ahead of him but we’re so glad he’s back home,” wrote the Chiefs on their Twitter feed.

The bad news? Try as they might, the Chiefs could not get their fallen teammate a victory.

The North Okanagan Knights completed a home-and-home sweep of the Chiefs, scoring a 5-4 win Sunday at the Rutland Arena. North Okanagan took the opening game Saturday, Jan. 28, 7-1 in Armstrong.

The two clubs will meet for a third straight game Friday, Feb. 3, at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

Matthew Johnston’s powerplay goal at 13:44 of the third period gave the Knights a 5-3 cushion. Caleb Genest completed his hat trick for the Chiefs at 18:52, but Kelowna could not get the equalizer.

Johnston had two goals for North Okanagan. Singles went to Devin Jameson, Kevin-Thomas Walters and Tag Bryson.

Max Jugnauth had the other goal for the Chiefs.

Affiliate goalie Jaxson Haywood made 32 saves for his first KIJHL win for North Okanagan, while Kelowna’s Brendan Smith stopped 38 shots.

With the win, the Knights moved one step closer to clinching third place in the Bill Ohlhausen Division and a first-round playoff date with the Osoyoos Coyotes, who have clinched at least second place.

North Okanagan, which won all three of its games over the weekend, is 19-16-3-2 for 43 points with four regular-season games remaining. The fourth-place Summerland Steam are 13-19-3-3 32 points, but have six games left.

The Chiefs went 0-for-January, losing all 11 games. Kelowna hasn’t won since its final game of 2022, a 6-5 decision over the hometown 100 Mile House Wranglers on Dec. 17.

READ MORE: Vernon U15 Vipers mine Cariboo gold

READ MORE: Gymnasts showcase hearts at Vernon event

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Roger Knox

About the Author: Roger Knox

I am a journalist with more than 30 years of experience in the industry. I started my career in radio and have spent the last 21 years working with Black Press Media.
Read more