North Okanagan Knights sit outside playoff picture

KIJHL: Pair of losses on weekend leave North Okanagan two points out of post-season spot

Two weekend losses have the North Okanagan Knights on the outside of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff picture.

The Knights fell 5-2 at home Friday to the Princeton Posse, and dropped a 3-2 decision to the Storm in Kamloops Saturday.

North Okanagan (14-25-0-0) has 28 points, two back of the fourth-place Posse (13-25-1-3), and three behind the third-place Osoyoos Coyotes (14-23-2-1) in the Okanagan Shuswap Division. The Knights visit the Coyotes Wednesday.

The Posse took the crowd and Knights out of Friday’s game early, scoring twice in the first 47 seconds for a quick 2-0 advantage.

Princeton made it 3-0 early in the second before Dylan Huber scored an unassisted marker at 6:42 to give the Knights a spark. Goals from Ethan Schmor, at 11:49, and Noah Brusse at 15:54 made it 5-1 visitors and chased starting goalie Bobby Milligan, who has been beaten for 12 goals in less than four full periods in two games against his former team. Caedon Bellmann finished the game in goal for the Knights.

Griffin Evans got his first KIJHL goal in the third to round out the scoring.

The Knights and Posse meet once more this season, Monday, Feb. 18, at 5 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

In Kamloops, the Knights jumped out to a 1-0 first period lead on a goal from Cameron McKenzie. Goals from Vernon’s Lincoln Connor and Julian Fodor in the middle frame gave the Storm a 2-1 lead, and Kamloops stretched the advantage to 3-1 at 4:10 into the third.

Evans, with his second goal in as many games, cut the margin to 3-2 at 5:24 but North Okanagan could not get the equalizer.

Bellmann made 41 saves.

The Knights will visit the league-leading Kelowna Chiefs (36-2-1-2) Friday before hosting the 100 Mile House Wranglers Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.

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