North Okanagan Knights hope offence returns in Kamloops

Club closing out three-game KIJHL weekend after 6-3 win at home Friday, but 2-0 loss in 100 Mile House

A KIJHL franchise could begin playing in Quesnel in fall of 2022. (File Photo)

The North Okanagan Knights left their offence on the bus in 100 Mile House Saturday.

One night after erupting for their biggest offensive outburst of the 2021-22 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League in a 6-3 win at home over the Kelowna Chiefs, the Knights fell 2-0 to the Wranglers in 100 Mile House.

The Knights are finishing off the weekend Sunday in Kamloops at 6 p.m.

North Okanagan did pepper the 100 Mile House goal with 31 shots including 17 in the second period but could not solve Wranglers netminder Loic Mainguy-Crepault.

Matthew Kuhnlein was making his North Okanagan debut in goal Saturday, and had a strong game, making 32 saves.

The game was scoreless until the 6:07 mark of the third period when Reid Stumpf broke the deadlock. Jace Myers added the insurance into an empty net.

The night before at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, Cody Laybolt scored 32 seconds into the first period to give Kelowna a 1-0 lead. But three goals in the final 10 minutes – two from Matthew Johnston and one from newly acquired Ty McNaughton – gave the Knights a 3-1 lead heading into the middle frame.

McNaughton, making his North Okanagan debut, was acquired earlier in the week from the Sicamous Eagles.

Luke Rishaug made it 4-1 Knights 22 seconds after the ice clean, and goals from Adam Mueller and Riley Zdan had North Okanagan up 6-2 after 40 minutes.

Jake Dubinsky picked up the win for North Okanagan, making 32 saves.

The Knights (6-7-2-0) pulled to within three points of the third-place Chiefs in the Bill Ohlhausen Division, and put themselves six points clear of the Princeton Posse in the battle for the final playoff spot, though Princeton has two games in hand.

North Okanagan entertains the Summerland Steam Friday, Nov. 26, at 7:15 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

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roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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