On Friday night, it was Blaine Caton. A day later, it was another 16-year-old who played the overtime hero for the North Okanagan Knights.
Salmon Arm’s Logan Mostat, who played call-up duty for the Knights last season, scored with 1:38 left in the second OT as the Knights brushed back the Princeton Posse 4-3 in front of 300 fans at Princeton & District Arena.
Brett Hawrys and Matt Halvorson, who each collected a single in regulation, assisted on the play.
Shorthanded for the second straight game, Knights’ head coach Shawn Webb had to play a d-man up front just to make three full lines.
“There was a lot of feeling sorry for ourselves that we had to go all the way to Princeton and play shorthanded,” said Webb.
“We were fortunate to be 1-1 after the first period. Periods two and three, we carried the play.”
The game was a back-and-forth affair, with Devan Suidy of the Posse and Anthony Ruggiero, a crash-and-bang forward with North Okanagan, swapping singles in the first period.
Halvorson netted his goal in the opening minute of the second frame, while Princeton’s Eden Dubchak and Hawrys each converted on powerplays two minutes apart. Mason Chew beat Mitch Profeit (25 saves) with 4:06 left in the second period to complete the regulation scoring.
Harrison Whitlock, a Vernon product, posted 23 stops for the Posse.
The Posse’s Curtis Sexsmith, a Vernon native, found himself in a late scrap with the Knights’ Tanner Burns, who instigated the fight after Sexsmith delivered a hit to the head of Dryden Profeit.
Burns will serve a one-game suspension as the 2-0 Knights’ host the 0-2 Osoyoos Coyotes Friday night (7:30) at Nor-Val Sports Centre. North Okanagan entertains the 0-2 Revelstoke Grizzlies Saturday (7:00), followed by a 3 p.m. Sunday matinee with the Posse (1-0-0-1).
The Knights lost energy forward Owen Barker, who has left the team to work up north.
Meanwhile, the resurgent Grand Forks Border Bruins have opened the new KIJHL campaign with three straight wins.
The Bruins have been perennial cellar dwellers the past four seasons, racking up eight, one, eight and six wins, respectively.