The North Okanagan Knights defeated the Kelowna Chiefs 3-2 in overtime to take Game 1 of the first-round KIJHL playoff series Friday, Feb. 28, 2020. (North Okanagan Knights photo)

North Okanagan Knights stun Kelowna Chiefs in overtime

Ethan Matchim had the overtime goal to help the Knights take Game 1 of the seven-game playoff series

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.

The teams will again face off at the Rutland Arena for Game 2, which starts at 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 29.

READ MORE: Playoff time for North Okanagan Knights

READ MORE: Vernon Lakers, Salmon Arm set for female hockey showdown

Brendan Shykora
Reporter, Vernon Morning Star
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