North Okanagan Knights ice Kamloops Storm in OT

North Okanagan Knights brush back Kamloops Storm 4-3 in OT in KIJHL action Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong

A pair of late powerplay goals nearly cost them, but the North Okanagan Knights found a way to weather the Kamloops Storm.

In Friday night’s Kootenay International Junior Hockey League tilt, Cory Hochhausen played the hero, scoring the overtime winner with just 12 seconds remaining to give the Knights a 4-3 win at Nor-Val Sports Centre. Driving hard to the net, he got hammered by a Kamloops defender, but controlled the puck from his knees, beating netminder Marcus Beesley on a tremendous solo effort.

“He probably had three whacks at it from his knees,” grinned Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette.

The Storm, first in the Okanagan Shuswap Conference’s Doug Birks Division at 32-7-1-5, opened the scoring just 28 seconds into the game on a goal by Daniel Buchanan.

The third-place Knights (31-13-0-1) didn’t panic, and responded with back-to-back goals by Mateja Leko later in the first period.

“He was really moving his feet,” said Mallette. “Two quick goals off of hard work by his linemates (Ben Greenaway and Alex Klintaire).

“As a team, we were skating very well.”

After a scoreless second period, Hochhausen, made it 3-1 North Okanagan, assisted by Armstrong’s Brett Hawrys and Vernon’s Thomas Swales.

The Storm equalized on a pair of late powerplay goals in the third period, both fluky deflections off North Okanagan players Chris Gillies and John Saunders.

The Knights continued a five-game home schedule Saturday against the Kimberley Dynamiters (30-13-1-1). They host the Revelstoke Grizzlies (32-10-0-3) in a 3:15 p.m. matinee today at Nor-Val. The Chase Heat (5-39-1-1) are in Armstrong Wednesday night.