North Okanagan Knights left their game legs on the bus in Grand Forks Thursday.
The hometown Border Bruins (9-10-0-1) scored six seconds into the contest, added two more in the next 12 minutes and rolled to a 6-3 win over the Knights in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action.
The loss snapped North Okanagan’s three-game winning streak.
The Knights (6-14-0-1) play in Spokane against the Braves (9-8-0-2) Friday night.
Nathan Cohen-Wallis scored the first of his three first-period goals six seconds after the national anthem, then made it 2-0 at 7:38. Josh Garlough-Bell made it 3-0 Bruins at 12:51, chasing North Okanagan starting goalie Austin Madge, who allowed the three goals on eight shots. He was replaced by Spallumcheen’s Caedon Bellmann, an affiliate player making his KIJHL debut for North Okanagan.
Knights player of the game Kevin-Thomas Walters scored his fifth of the year shorthanded at 15:33 to cut the lead to 3-1, but Cohen-Wallis got his hat trick goal at 17:04.
Cole Haberlack scored his seventh on the season on a powerplay with 1:14 left in the frame to give the Knights a boost going into the intermission.
Jett Saharchuk gave North Okanagan further momentum, scoring his team-leading 12th goal of the season 53 seconds after the ice clean and cutting the Bruins lead to 4-3.
Zane Avery, with a powerplay marker, restored the Border Bruins’ advantage to two goals at 18:35, and Evan Gorman finished the scoring with 32 seconds left in the game.
Zak Larson made 33 saves in goal for Grand Forks to pick up the win. Bellmann made 26 saves, for a .928 save percentage, in his first Junior B contest.