The Princeton Posse have the North Okanagan Knights surrounded.
The Posse scored three times on their first five shots and rolled to a 7-3 win over the hometown Knights in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League Teck Cup playoff action Monday, March 6, before a capacity crowd of 335 at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Princeton leads the best-of-seven Bill Ohlhausen Division Final 3-0 and can wrap up the series Tuesday, March 7, in Game 4 in Armstrong. Face-off is at 7 p.m. The Posse remain undefeated in this year’s playoffs.
Dayton Nelson, and Sean Mitchell and Brayden Bablitz, with powerplay markers, scored seven minutes after Armstrong singer Chelaine McInroy’s beautiful rendition of O Canada to stake Princeton to a 3-0 lead. That led to a North Okanagan goalie change with starter Austin Seibel pulled in favour of Josh Hager.
With the teams playing four-on-four, Collin Kozijn injected some life into the Knights and the crowd with a beautiful individual effort at 9:49. Ty Russell, however, restored Princeton’s three-goal lead at 16:17.
Nelson scored the only goal of the second period and the Posse took a 5-1 lead into the final 20 minutes. The regular-season President’s Cup winners extended that margin to 7-1 with goals from Russell and Jalen McRae 3:18 after the ice clean.
Brodie Pearson and Ethan O’Rourke added goals for the Knights.
Seibel and Hager combined for 33 saves in the North Okanagan net while Peyton Trzaska made 30 saves for the Posse.
• The defending Teck Cup champion Revelstoke Grizzlies moved to within a game of the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference Championship with a 5-4 double overtime win against the Eagles in Sicamous Monday.
Luke Aston scored at 9:55 of the second overtime to give Revelstoke a 3-0 lead in the Doug Birks Division Final. Game 4 is in Sicamous Tuesday.
• The Fernie Ghostriders moved to within a victory of playing in the Kootenay Conference Championship with a 4-1 decision over the Kimberley Dynamiters. Fernie leads the best-of-seven series 3-0.
• The Beaver Valley Nitehawks and Creston Valley Thunder Cats resume their series in Creston Tuesday. The series is tied 1-1.