Offence finally arrived during the Penticton Lakers battle against the Osoyoos Coyotes on Nov. 29.
Steven Killy scored the winning goal with 4:14 remaining in the third period to give the Lakers a 2-1 win at the South Okanagan Events Centre.
Newly acquired Laker Sam Nigg broke the scoreless tie that lasted two periods when he potted his sixth goal of the season on the power play at 14:44. Coyotes captain Steve Sasyniuk tied the game at 7:29.
Lakers goalie Jessie Gordichuk made 29 saves for the win, while Penticton’s Cole Buckley, recently acquired from the Grand Forks Border Bruins, made 20 saves in a losing cause.
Following a 7-1 loss to the Coyotes on Saturday, Lakers coach Robert Dirk said his team did the things they needed to be successful.
“Guys were committed to defence and the little things,” said Dirk. “That is something we haven’t done the last few weeks.”
With four of their next seven games against divisional opponents, beginning with Sicamous and Kelowna on Friday and Saturday, Dirk wants to see a continued commitment to defence. The Lakers coach said if they play like they did against the Coyotes then they give themselves a chance to win.
Dirk acquired Nigg’s rights from the Summerland Steam to boost the Lakers offence. In their five games prior to yesterday’s win, the Lakers scored nine goals, while allowing 24.
Last season with the Coyotes, Nigg scored nine goals and added 23 assists in 41 games. This season, the 18-year-old had five goals and 18 points in 20 games with the Coyotes before being dealt to the Summerland Steam. In two games with the Steam, Nigg had three assists. While the Lakers needed an offensive injection, Nigg wanted to play closer to home. Dirk, who got to know Nigg who for the Okanagan Hockey School during the summer, feels he gets character player that is confident with the puck and a playmaker.
“We need to start scoring more goals,” said Dirk. “It’s tough to win games 2-1 and 3-2 every night.”
The Lakers improved to 13-9-1-2 and sit one point behind the Princeton Posse for second in the Okanagan Division and four behind the Coyotes.