The Princeton Posse celebrate a goal against former teammate Bobby Milligan and the North Okanagan Knights Friday in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Friday in Princeton. The Posse whipped the Knights 9-1. (Bob Marsh photo)

North Okanagan Knights remain in playoff spot

KIJHL: Knights split pair of road games, falling 9-1 at Princeton, winning 3-2 in Summerland

The flu and the Princeton Posse finally beat Caedon Bellmann.

The 17-year-old North Okanagan Knights rookie goalie had his three-game Kootenay International Junior Hockey League winning streak snapped in the Similkameen Friday, as the host Posse lit up the flu-riddled Bellmann and the Knights 9-1.

Bellmann had been 3-0 in his first three KIJHL starts before Friday.

Bellmann fell ill just before game time but started the contest. He allowed two goals in the opening 20 minutes, giving way to newly signed goalie Bobby Milligan, once a member of the Posse, who would be beaten seven times in 40 minutes by his former teammates.

RELATED: Bellmann, ex-NHLer boost North Okanagan Knights

Vineet Kaila had the only Knights goal Friday.

The team rebounded Saturday, travelling to Summerland and knocking off the second-place Steam 3-2 with Kevin-Thomas Walters getting the winning goal at 10:05 of the third period, making the score 3-1 Knights.

Summerland scored with 40 seconds left but could not beat Milligan for the equalizer.

Jett Saharchuk and Dylan Huber scored in the game’s first eight minutes to stake the Knights to a 2-0 lead.

Milligan, 20, from Penticton, made 28 saves in his first start for the Knights.

North Okanagan remains in fourth place in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division with a 14-23-0-1 record. They’re tied on points (28) with the Posse (12-23-1-3) for the final playoff spot but have more wins.

The Knights also have a game in hand on Princeton. North Okanagan trails third-place Osoyoos Coyotes (14-21-2-1) by three points.

The Knights host the Posse in a huge showdown match Friday at 7:30 p.m. at Nor-Val Sports Centre, then travel to Kamloops Saturday to face the Storm.



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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