Vernon’s Harlan Orr collected the equalizer and the overtime winner as the North Okanagan Knights upended the Kamloops Storm 3-2 in Kootenay International Junior Hockey League action Saturday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Orr, a late cut by the BCHL Surrey Eagles, made it a 2-2 game on a goal-mouth scramble with 4:44 to play in the second period.
With three minutes to play in double-OT, Orr poked the puck into the neutral zone with a guy hanging all over him, created some space and made a nice move to beat Marcus Beesley.
“He’s a good pickup,” said Knights’ head coach Kris Mallette. “Very good offensive instincts, but he has some work to do positionally in the defensive end. Offensively, the kid knows what to do blueline in.”
Singles by Ian Chrystal and Ryan Skinner (powerplay) had the 2-0-0-1 Storm up 2-1 after one period.
Mac Ferner hammered a rolling puck bar-down for the 2-1-0-1 Knights’ goal during a powerplay.
Mallette said Saturday night’s effort was a good response to a Friday OT loss in Kamloops.
“For the majority of the game, we carried the play. We were skating, we were playing physical, and we had some big penalty kills and timely goals that allowed our guys to squeak one out.”
The Knights went 1-for-6 on the man advantage, and held Kamloops to one goal on nine attempts.
Mallette said his team needs to play with more discipline, but credited his squad for drawing penalties with its speed.
“That’s the way we need to be successful,” he said. “We’re a good skating team. When we’re moving, teams are going to have to haul us down or try and get in our way to slow us down.”
The Knights head out on one of two overnight road swings of the season, starting Friday against the Castlegar Rebels (2-1-2). On Saturday, they visit the Spokane Braves (2-2), and Sunday they take on the host Grand Forks Border Bruins (1-4).
Mallette said the road trip will be a good opportunity to gel as a team.
“Guys are still feeling each other out,” he said. “Once we figure out what our teammates’ tendencies are, we’ll be that much better.”