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North Okanagan Knights win first 2 in series, toppling Coyotes

A Matthew Johnston natural hat trick led the way for the Knights in the 6-2 victory.

The North Okanagan Knights asserted their dominance on Saturday night, downing the Osoyoos Coyotes 6-1 from the Sun Bowl Arena in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action on Saturday night.

North Okanagan now leads the best-of-seven series 2-0, after winning the first game 5-3 on Friday night.

Vernon native Kevin-Thomas Walters got the scoring going in the first, roofing his first of the postseason. Then, Adam Bourgeois continued his hot streak, scoring his third goal in two nights to give the visitors a 2-0 lead heading into the break.

Knights goaltender Austin Seibel was rock solid in the first, parrying away all 20 shots in the frame.

Osoyoos would get one back in the second, off the stick of Coletyn Boyarski. That was swiftly followed by Matthew Johnston’s first on the power play to restore North Okanagan’s two goal lead.

Johnston would again pounce on the power play early in the third to make it a 4-1 lead. The Knights then seemed destined for a fifth, after Walters was awarded a penalty shot, but was stopped by Coyotes’ goalie Rhett Harkot.

However, Johnston would complete the natural hat trick with his third of the night midway through the frame.

Tyler Badger shimmied in his first of the playoffs on another power play with seven minutes left to wrap up the scoring. The Knights fired 48 shots on Harkot throughout the game. Seibel was also busy, stopping 37 shots to grab his second-straight playoff victory.

Walters led the way for the Knights, registering four points, with all three helpers on the Johnston goals.

The series now shifts back to the Nor-Val Centre in Armstrong for games three and four. They are scheduled for Monday, Feb. 20 and Wednesday, Feb. 22. Puck drop is set for 7 p.m.

READ MORE: B.C. stick curling championships underway in Armstrong


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Bowen Assman

About the Author: Bowen Assman

I joined The Morning Star team in January 2023 as a reporter. Before that, I spent 10 months covering sports in Kelowna.
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