They busted the slump, but the North Okanagan Knights know there is work to be done if they are to climb out of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League cellar.
The Knights snapped an eight-game skid by doubling the host 100 Mile House Wranglers 4-2 in front of 500 boisterous fans Tuesday night.
“It was a great atmosphere up there,” said Zach Andrusiak, who led the 3-16-1-2 Knights with two goals and an assist. “They have a very nice rink and get great crowds.
“It is a bit of a relief to getting off a losing streak, but we know the work’s not done.”
Andrusiak (4th goal), who grew up in Yorkton, Sask. before moving to Armstrong three years ago, opened the scoring on a feed from Jordan Passmore from behind the net with 7:40 to play in period one.
Matt Halvorson (1st goal), with a post-and-in point shot on a powerplay early in the second frame, extended North Okanagan’s lead. Logan Geefs then worked the puck back to d-man Trent Redschlag, who beat Quinn Ferris for his first of the season midway through the period.
The Wranglers (10-8-0-2) buried goals just over a minute apart by Tate Page and Austin Turner, on a man advantage, to cut the lead to one. Andrusiak fired an empty netter with 15 seconds to play.
“It gives us some more confidence and shows us what we can do when we’re on our game and playing our best,” said Andrusiak, who was reassigned to North Okanagan from the WHL Tri-City Americans.
Mitch Profeit recorded 36 saves to earn the Knights’ game star. Ferris made 20 stops for 100 Mile House.
The Knights visit the Columbia Valley Rockies (3-14-0-4), losers of seven straight, tonight in Invermere before taking on the host Golden Rockies (10-10-0-2) Saturday.