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Princeton Posse wins KIJHL second series in game seven

Team moves on to battle Revelstoke for the conference title
Joey Hawco earned his second playoff shut-out in game seven and takes a victory lap, while Blake Sittler approves in the foreground. “We have two phenomenal goalies that can get the job done and win some hockey games,” said Posse coach Mark Readman. (Andrea DeMeer photo)

In front of a packed and raucous crowd at the Princeton and District Arena on Monday, the Princeton Posse stomped the North Okanagan Knights 7-0 in game seven of their KIJHL division series to advance to the next round of the playoffs.

The Posse will next face the Revelstoke Grizzles in the conference final of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoffs.

It was a lopsided finish to what had been a hard-fought series between the Posse and the Knights, as the North Okanagan team had initially jumped out front to 2-0 lead in the series, forcing Princeton to claw back their way back.

“We showed up tonight,” said head coach Mark Readman, following Monday’s game seven victory.

Goaltender Joey Hawco earned his second shut-out of the playoffs, and was named the Posse’s game star.

“He was able to slam the door shut,” said Readman.

“We have two phenomenal goalies that can get the job done and win some hockey games.”

The Princeton goal scorers were Dayton Nelson, Anmol Garcha, Johnathan Ward (2), Ty Russell, and Vinay Junek (2). Both Nelson and Ward had recently returned to the ice, following injuries.

“Having them back is massive energy for the group…It really helps open the game for others. That’s what good players do, they make other players better,” Readman acknowledged.

Looking ahead, Princeton met Revelstoke twice in the regular season, each team winning a game.

“They are a structured, hard-nosed, big physical hockey team,” he said.“They most certainly will make you fight for everything you have.”

Readman does not underestimate the challenge. “We thought this series was a grind. This is going to be a war. This next series is going to make this last series look like a picnic.”

The first game of the conference final opens in Princeton Friday, March 22, puck drop at 7 p.m.

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Andrea DeMeer

About the Author: Andrea DeMeer

Andrea is the publisher of the Similkameen Spotlight.
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