Penalties were a weekend problem for the North Okanagan Knights.
The Kootenay International Junior Hockey League squad took one out of a possible four points and fell further behind the Princeton Posse in the battle for the Okanagan Shuswap Division’s final playoff spot.
The Knights played the Kelowna Chiefs in Rutland Tuesday.
Kolten Moore’s powerplay goal with 7:56 remaining in the third period Saturday proved to be the winner as the Chase Heat beat the Knights 3-2 at the Art Holding Memorial Arena.
The goal came with Knights’ leading scorer Brady Marzocco in the penalty box for interference.
Marzocco atoned for the penalty by scoring on a penalty shot – his 20th goal of the year –with 5:34 remaining. The Knights pressed for the equalizer but couldn’t get another one past Heat goalie Zak Larson.
Josh Bourne and Travis Beaubien – on the powerplay – staked Chase to a 2-0 first-period lead before Levi Harris, with his second of the season, got the Knights on the board with the man advantage.
Conor Webb made 29 saves for the Knights while Larson finished with 32 saves.
The night before, at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, North Okanagan killed off a high-sticking minor to Layne Greene with 99 seconds left in regulation, then killed a Jeff Schlenker two-minute tripping minor in the first overtime, to salvage a 2-2 draw – and a valuable single point – against the Kelowna Chiefs.
Josh Kobelka forced overtime for the Chiefs when he scored on a powerplay with 3:39 left in regulation with Drayton Martin off for tripping.
Marzocco scored twice on special teams – one shorthanded and one on the powerplay – for the Knights, who got a 42-save effort from Webb. Brandon Gaucher made 38 saves for Kelowna, who hold down third place in the division at 18-18-2-2.
North Okanagan was 12-25-1-1 heading into Tueday’s rematch with the Chiefs, and trail the Posse (12-23-1-4) by three points with a game in hand on Princeton. The Posse won their only weekend game, 3-1, at Kelowna.
The Knights host the 100 Mile House Wranglers Friday at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, and visit the division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes Saturday.
HOME: Osoyoos, Chase, Summerland (2), North Okanagan;
AWAY: Sicamous, North Okanagan.
NORTH OKANAGAN (8*):
HOME: 100 Mile House, Princeton, Osoyoos, Summerland*;
AWAY: Kelowna, Osoyoos, Kamloops, Princeton.
*The Knights are slated to host the Summerland Steam on Tuesday, Feb. 21, to complete agame postponed Dec. 2 when a transformer blew at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. The game will only be played if it’s imperative to playoff standings, and will start with 4:01 left in the second period with Summerland ahead 4-1.