It might have been the Nor-Val Centre but the Osoyoos Coyotes made themselves feel at home by blanking the host North Okanagan Knights 10-0.
The Coyotes monopolized Game 4 of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League semifinals start to finish Tuesday night.
It was dominance away from the desert. Despite the playoff pounding, the Knights have moved on.
“We have already put that game behind us. That’s all you can do with that one,” said Knights head coach Shawn Webb, minutes after the final whistle.
Captain, T.J. Christensen, echoed his remarks.
“We just got to relax for next game. We have been battling adversity all year long, we just need to keep working,” said Christensen.
The Coyotes hold a 3-1 stranglehold in the best-of-seven match up.
Game 5 went Thursday night at the Osoyoos Sun Bowl. A sixth game, if required, goes Saturday night in Armstrong.
“We made sure we took space away from their forwards and kept pressure on the defencemen,” said Coyotes’ head coach Ken Law.
Cameron Dobransky scored the eventual winner 9:49 into the first, rifling one top-cheddar glove side. He later added another and one helper.
The Coyotes outshot the Knights 15-2 in the first period. Despite being outplayed, the Knights escaped the first trailing 2-0.
The game was put on ice in the second when the Coyotes scored five more in New York Islander-like-fashion. Left winger Troy Maclise banged home a powerplay marker 3:56 into the frame.
The special teams players got their ice time as both teams went on the man advantage 11 times.
The Knights seemed to gather some momentum midway through the second but it was snuffed out once Rory Neary went top bunk on the backhand.
That marked the fifth and final goal that Zach Dyment allowed. Dyment was under siege in the first half, stopping 29 of 34 shots. He was relieved by Mitch Profeit, who gave up five goals on 24 shots.
Neary completed the hat trick later in the third inf ront of 325 fans.
Lost in the scoring outburst was the play of Coyotes’ goaltender Lawrence Langan. He remained sharp despite the puck being in the other end most of the night.
“I just tried to match my teams’ intensity whenever I could,” said Langan, who blocked 23 shots.
“Lawrence is a guy we never have to worry about. Whether he faces five shots or 50 shots, we know what he brings to the table,” said Law.
The game was out of reach by the third period with Neary and Colin Chmelka getting snipes.