The North Okanagan Knights pulled out a classic to start their 2020 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff campaign, defeating the Kelowna Chiefs 3-2 in overtime.
Defenceman Ethan Matchim scored his second of the game just 13 seconds into the overtime period, giving his team a massive road victory and a 1-0 lead in the Round 1 best-of-seven series.
The Knights made it past the final regulation horn on the back of goaltender Sean Kanervisto, who made 32 saves while his team was out-shot 34-26 on the night.
Rookie forward Kyle Bax opened the scoring with a goal midway through the firsrt period, assisted by Jacob Boden and Darius Makse.
But with 39 seconds to go in the period, Chiefs forward Nathan Driver – also a rookie – tied the game with assists going to Zane Avery and Jordan Lowry.
Matchim’s first of the night came less than a minute into the second period, assisted by Tyler Kulczycki and Bryan Brew. Seven minutes later Marchall Porteous gave the Chiefs another game-tying goal. The score was 2-2 at the end of the second period, and a scoreless third decided nothing.
There was a moment’s confusion as to whether Matchim’s overtime goal was gloved in, but the goal stood, and with that the Knights took Game 1 against the top seed in the Bill Ohlhausen Division.
13 seconds into OT and @NOKnights put it in. Though there’s talk it was gloved into the net… but goal stands.
Knights take game 1 and draw first blood.
We’ll do it all over again tomorrow night, same time same place.
— KelownaChiefs (@KelownaChiefs) February 29, 2020
The teams will again face off at the Rutland Arena for Game 2, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.