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North Okanagan Knights prep for juggernaut quarterfinal bout

The Knights battle the top team in the KIJHL, the Princeton Posse
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The two teams have played each other six times this year, with Princeton winning four of the games. (Andrea DeMeer photo)

In order to be the best, you have to beat the beast.

That’s the task that is in front of the North Okanagan Knights, as they prepare for their quarterfinal best-of-seven series in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs.

In the opening round of the playoffs, the Knights surprisingly dispatched the second-seeded Osoyoos Coyotes in five games. Now, they face off against the top team in the league, the Princeton Posse.

The first two games are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday from the Princeton and District Arena. The series will shift to the Armstrong Nor-Val Sports Centre on Monday and Tuesday, March 6 and 7.

The Posse dominated the regular season with a 31-7-3-3- record for a league best 68 points. They are led by forwards Dayton Nelson and Sean Mitchell, who had team high 44 and 41 points in the regular season. Princeton relies on its depth, as 11 players had at least 18 points during the year. The team deploys a platoon goaltending duo, with Nate Glenn and Peyton Trzaska splitting reps between the pipes. In their first round sweep of the Summerland Steam, both goaltenders played two games.

Meanwhile the Knights have been buoyed by their stalwart goaltender, Austin Seibel. He made at least 29 saves in all five playoff games, and was particularly rock solid in their final, Game 5 clinching match, stopping 39 shots in the victory. Offensively, the one-two punch of Kevin-Thomas Walters and Matthew Johnston pace the Knights.

Johnston, named the first of the league’s three stars (top forward) for last week, leads the KIJHL in playoff scoring, with 14 points in just five games, while Walters isn’t far behind with 12. The two also led the Knights in regular-season scoring, with Walters 12th in league scoring with 54.

Head-to-head in the regular season, the Posse won four times in six games, however, three of them went the distance in a shootout or overtime.

For more information, please visit KIJHL.ca

READ MORE: Valley championships wrap up for Okanagan boys basketball

In order to be the best, you have to beat the beast.That’s the task that is in front of the North Okanagan Knights, as they prepare for their quarterfinal best-of-seven series. In the opening round of the playoffs, the KNights surprisingly dispatched the second seeded Osoyoos Coyotes in five games. Now, they face off against the top team in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League, the Princeton Posse. The Posse are led by . Princetons deploys a platoon goaltending duo, with __ and __- each playing in two games in the first round. Glenn played in 19 regular season games, while Peyton Trzaska played in __ -game.s Meanwhile the Knights have been buoyed by their stalwart goaltender, Seibel. He Offensively, the one-two punch of Kevin Thomas-Walters and Matthew Johnston. Johnston leads the KIJHL in playoff scoring, with 14 pioints in justfive games, while Thomas-Walters isnt far behind in 12. The first two games are scheduled for this Friday and Saturday from the Princeton and District Arena. The series will shift to the Armstrong- Nor-Val Centre on Monday and Tuesday. For more information, please visit KIJHL.caREAD MORETAG



Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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