Princeton eliminates North Okanagan Knights from KIJHL playoff race

Posse’s 4-2 win Saturday in Armstrong was Knights’ 14th straight defeat

KIJHL playoffs start Feb. 22. The North Okanagan Knights will not be taking part. (File Photo)

KIJHL playoffs start Feb. 22. The North Okanagan Knights will not be taking part. (File Photo)

The official final daggers for the North Okanagan Knights were deposited by the Princeton Posse Saturday, Feb. 12.

Goals at 5:37 and 11:43 of the third period from Kailer Hulse and Tanner Funk gave the visiting Posse a three-goal lead on the way to a 4-2 win over the hometown Knights in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League play at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The loss was North Okanagan’s 14th in a row and officially knocked them out of playoff contention with three games remaining.

Adam Mueller scored a pair of powerplay goals for the Knights, while Jake Dubinsky made 19 saves in goal. Peyton Trzaska picked up the win for Princeton with a 25-save performance.

North Okanagan fell 6-3 Friday to the Steam in Summerland. The Knights trailed 2-1 after 20 minutes and 4-2 heading into the final frame. Carter Wiebe got North Okanagan to within a goal at 2:30 of the third period, only to see Summerland restore the two-goal advantage 72 seconds later on a marker from Grayson Chell.

Mueller and Tyler Burke had the other goals for North Okanagan. Gabriel Murrells-Allaway made 29 saves in goal for the Knights while Colton Macaulay stopped 20 for the Steam.

Princeton will play the league-champion Osoyoos Coyotes in the first round of the Bill Ohlhausen Division playoffs while the Steam and Kelowna Chiefs will also do battle. Yet to be determined is who will have home-ice advantage in that series.

Heading into play Sunday, each team has three games left with Kelowna enjoying a one-point lead over Summerland.

Kelowna visits Princeton Sunday, Feb. 13, Summerland Friday and finishes off at home against the Sicamous Eagles Saturday, Feb. 19.

The Steam travel to Revelstoke Tuesday, host Kelowna Friday and finish off the regular season on the road in Armstrong against the Knights Saturday, Feb. 19.

Playoffs begin Tuesday, Feb. 22.

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