Cole Haberlack’s 100th game in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League was a memorable one.
The Okotoks, Alta. native scored the game-winner early in the second period as the North Okanagan Knights beat the Summerland Steam 3-1 Friday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong, the first of a weekend home-and-home series between the Bill Ohlhausen Division rivals.
After the Steam opened the scoring, Cade Enns tied the game for the Knights at 19:06 of the first period. Haberlack, set up by Tyler Jamieson and Nic Bolin, gave North Okanagan the lead at 13:20 of the third period, and Enns added his second of the night nearly two minutes later for insurance.
Sean Kanervisto made 37 saves for the win in goal as Summerland outshot the Knights 38-33.
The Steam salvaged a weekend split with a 5-1 decision at home Saturday.
Summerland scored the first five goals, leading 2-0 and 3-0 by periods, and chased Knights starter Caedon Bellmann 4:49 into the final frame after a shorthanded, unassisted goal by Morey Babakaiff. Bellmann started in place of Kanervisto, who was called up as a backup emergency to the B.C. Hockey League’s Vernon Vipers Saturday.
Cory Loring made it 5-0 Steam on Bellmann’s replacement, Colby Dynneson, at 11:56. Adam Volanksy, with his first of the season for North Okanagan, spoiled Summerland goalie Eric Scherger’s shutout bid with 3:13 left in the game. Scherger finished with 21 saves.
The results keep the Knights in first place in the division with a record of 8-3-0-1 for 17 points, three ahead of the Kelowna Chiefs (7-1-0-0), who suffered their first loss of the year Saturday, 3-2 to the Dynamiters in Kimberley. The Nitros are 8-1-0-1. Kelowna has four games in hand on North Okanagan.
The Steam sit third in the Ohlhausen Division at 6-5-0-0.
North Okanagan returns to action Friday when they host the Spokane Braves at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.