Seven goals over the final 40 minutes lifted the North Okanagan Knights to within one game of the second round of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League’s Teck Cup playoffs.
The Knights rallied from a 2-0 first-period deficit Monday, Feb. 20, to defeat the Osoyoos Coyotes 7-4 at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre to take a commanding three-games-to-none lead in their Bill Ohlhausen Divisional Semifinal.
Game 4 is Wednesday, Feb. 22, 7 p.m., at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. North Okanagan has won nine of its last 10 games, counting the end of the regular season.
The Coyotes got goals from Coletyn Boyarski and Jack Henderson, shorthanded, to take a 2-0 lead into the second period. North Okanagan would take the lead with three goals 6:50 apart from Devin Jameson and two from Tyler Badger.
Osoyoos would tie the game on a powerplay marker at 18:23 of the period from Henderson.
Colton Fleming snapped the deadlock just 55 seconds after the ice clean, and Badger completed his hat trick with a powerplay goal at 7:14 to give the home team a 5-3 advantage.
Matthew Johnston added a shorthanded dagger for the Knights at 9:49 to make it 6-3.
Boyarski scored a powerplay marker at 16:01 to pull the Coyotes to within two goals before Johnston ended the scoring with a shorthanded, empty-net marker at 16:33.
Austin Seibel picked up his third straight playoff victory in goal for the Knights, making 29 saves while North Okanagan peppered Osoyoos netminder Rhett Harkot with 46 shots.
Vernon’s Jayden Atwood is a defenceman for the Coyotes.
The winner of this series meets the winner of the Princeton Posse-Summerland Steam series in the divisional final. The regular-season President’s Cup-winning Posse are up two-games-to-none with Game 3 set for Tuesday, Feb. 21, in Summerland.
Isaac Thomas of Vernon is a defenceman with the Posse.
Vernon’s Porter Trevelyan and the defending league champion Revelstoke Grizzlies have a 2-0 lead on the 100 Mile House Wranglers in their Doug Birks Divisional Semifinal. The Grizzlies have yet to give up a goal in the series, winning the first two games at home 6-0 and 4-0.
Tyler Burke of Vernon and the Sicamous Eagles have a 2-1 lead on the Kamloops Storm in the other Birks matchup. The Eagles scored a 5-2 win Monday at home.
Vernon’s Riley Cormier and the Columbia Valley Rockies fell 5-2 to the Ghostriders in Fernie Monday night. The Rockies lead the Eddie Mountain Divisional Semifinal 2-1.
And Vernon’s Matthew Kuhnlein is a backup goalie with the Golden Rockets, who are tied 1-1 with the Kimberley Dynamiters in their Eddie Mountain series.
• Knights defenceman Adam Bourgeois was selected as one of the KIJHL’s stars of the week for the period ending Feb. 19.
The 5-foot-11, 169-pound blueliner scored three goals and added five assists to help the Knights take a 2-0 series lead on the Osoyoos Coyotes. In a 5-3 Game 1 win, Bourgeois had two goals and four points and was in on the Knights’ first three goals.
In a Game 2 6-1 win, Bourgeois netted the winner and added three assists, one of them being on an insurance goal to give the Knights a 3-1 lead. Bourgeois is in his first KIJHL season and produced four goals and 20 points in 26 games. All his goals came on the power-play.