Seven straight goals propelled the North Okanagan Knights to a 7-1 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League victory over the Kelowna Chiefs Saturday, Jan. 28, at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The two teams complete a weekend home-and-home series today, Sunday, Jan. 29, at the Rutland Arena at 5 p.m.
The Knights scored the first seven goals before Dain Levesque spoiled Austin Seibel’s shutout bid with a powerplay goal at 13:13 of the third period.
Matthew Johnston and Brodie Pearson, on the man advanage with one second remaining in the first period, gave North Okanagan a 2-0 lead after 20 minutes.
Kevin-Thomas Walters, Devin Jameson, Collin Kozijn and Carson Devine added goals in the middle frame, and Tyson McCaig, with his first of the year off the post and in, rounded out the Knights’ scoring.
North Okanagan peppered Chiefs goalie Caleb Muri with 55 shots while Seibel finished the game with 26 saves.
Kelowna played the contest without defenceman Zach Peitsch, seriously injured by a stick to the throat Friday, Jan. 27, in Grand Forks. The Chiefs posted on their Twitter feed that Peitsch continues to recover and remains in intensive care. A picture shows Peitsch giving thumbs up.
Peitsch and Seibel were teammates at the Prospects Games in Chilliwack in November 2022.
Update:— KelownaChiefs (@KelownaChiefs) January 29, 2023
Zach's surgery was successful, although the damage was worse than the doctors initially believed. He is awake and will remain in ICU for tonight at least.
On behalf of Zach and the Peitsch family, we thank everyone for their comments wishing him well. pic.twitter.com/uFj3578CYS
North Okanagan’s victory, combined with Summerland’s 5-4 loss in 100 Mile House to the Wranglers, pushes the Knights’ lead in third place in the Bill Ohlhausen Division to nine points over the Steam. Both teams have six regular-season games remaining.
North OK sits 11 points behind the second-place Osoyoos Coyotes, who beat the Chase Heat 2-1 in overtime Saturday.