North Okanagan Knights turn over Nelson Leafs

North Okanagan Knights stuff host Nelson Leafs 6-4 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play Friday night.

The North Okanagan Knights put their penalty kill to the test in a 6-4 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the host Nelson Leafs Friday night at the Community Complex.

The Knights survived a trio of 5-on-3s and allowed just one goal on eight Nelson powerplays.

“The officiating is always interesting coming up into the Kootenays; I’ll leave it at that,” said North Okanagan head coach Kris Mallette.

Matty Saharchuk, Steve Pantazopoulos and Tanner Burns each collected a goal and an assist for the 9-2-0-1 Knights. Derek Andrews and Armstrong’s Owen Barker rounded out the attack in front of second star Dustin Nikkel (26 saves).

First star Colton Thibault and Brett Hawrys each counted a pair of helpers.

“We played very well down low in the offensive zone to expose their breakdowns,” said Mallette. “Our guys were doing a good job of finding that soft ice.

“It’s just too bad our guys didn’t keep that momentum going into the second.”

Colton Schell led the 6-5-1 Leafs with two goals and an assist.

North Okanagan faced the Beaver Valley Nitehawks (7-2-1-1) Saturday night. They host the Kamloops Storm (7-2-0-2) Wednesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.