The North Okanagan Knights’ start to their Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season has resembled yin and yang.
Following a 11-0 whitewashing by the Osoyoos Coyotes Friday night, the Knights skimmed the Golden Rockets 2-1 in double overtime Sunday afternoon at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
“We knew we had a big task on our hands with Golden. The boys came to the rink ready to work and we went out and did that,” said Knights’ goalie Mitch Profeit, who was the first star with 37 saves.
“I am a little sore, it definitely takes a toll going to double overtime,” said Profeit.
Profeit was spectacular early. He was giving no love with his glove, robbing several Rockets in close. He was sharper than a thumb tack making a variety of reaction saves on deflections, bouncing pucks and redirected shots.
“I came to the rink three hours early today and worked with (tennis) balls and made sure I was seeing the ball well,” said Profeit.
The Rockets finally cracked his armour when Spencer Gerth blasted a shot through his arm-hole from Tanner Wit and Nic Noseworthy with 2:24 left in the second.
The Knights (1-1), who were searching for their first win, scored three minutes in on a give-and-go down low by Nathan Washington and Austin Garrington. The puck came out to Washington and he snuck it past Rockets’ keeper Mitchell Privett, who made 31 saves.
Tied at one after 60 mintues, the teams went into a five-minute overtime of four-on-four.
Knights smooth-skating forward Logan Geefs had the best chance to play hero when he peeled the puck off the right boards in the Rockets’ zone, walked out and ripped a shot high, just missing the corner.
“Logan skated a mile out there today. He had a good game and a lot of our guys showed up and played really well,” said Knights’ coach Jim Armstrong, who picked up his first Junior B win.
Deadlocked at one after the first overtime, a second overtime of three-on-three hockey was required. If there was no winner following this period, the game would end in a tie.
The Rockets (1-1-0-1) went 15-32-1-4 and missed the playoffs last season. They came out hot in the second overtime. Using the vast open ice, they thought they had a breakaway when Gerth knocked down a waist-high pass at the Knights’ blue line, but the linesman blew his whistle.
“I didn’t think he was offside,” said Rockets’ head coach Raymond Johnson, whose bench was on the opposite side of the ice.
An intentional offside resulted in an offensive faceoff for the Knights.
Thomas Pattison won the draw clean to Garrington who unleashed a bomb from the point, finding its way through Privett.
“We just tried to keep it real simple in overtime; we don’t want to make any errors, just wait for our opponent to make a mistake and then capitalize,” said Knights’ captain Dryden Profeit, Mitch’s older brother.
Johnson was impressed by his teams’ play, but left desiring a better fate.
“We definitely carried the play and had more grade A scoring chances, but at the end of the day you got to put the puck in the net,” said Johnson.
The Knights host the Princeton Posse 7:30 p.m. Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre and the Fernie Ghostriders Saturday night.