The North Okanagan Knights are four points out of a Kootenay International Junior Hockey League playoff spot with only three games left. (Morning Star file photo)

North Okanagan Knights swept at home

KIJHL: Tough losses down the stretch hurting North Okanagan playoff chances

  • Feb. 10, 2019 12:00 a.m.

Three points out of a playoff spot, four games left.

That’s the situation facing the North Okanagan Knights following a pair of weekend home-ice Kootenay International Junior Hockey League defeats at Armstrong’s Nor-Val Sports Centre.

The Knights lost 5-2 Friday to the Osoyoos Coyotes – one of the teams they’re trying to catch for a playoff spot – and 6-2 to the league-leading Kelowna Chiefs Saturday.

As of Sunday, Osoyoos (16-25-2-1, 35 points) had moved back into third place in the Okanagan-Shuswap Division, one point ahead of the Princeton Posse (15-25-1-3, 34 points) and five up on the Knights (15-29-0-0, 30 points).

The Coyotes and Posse each have a game in hand on the Knights.

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Osoyoos struck for three goals in the first 14:24 Friday, chasing starting goalie Caedon Bellmann, and added one more against Bobby Milligan to take a 4-0 lead after 20 minutes.

Nicholas Teale and Jett Saharchuk cut the lead in half in the middle stanza before Austin O’Neill salted the game away with an unassisted marker at 14:00 of the third period.

Former Knights netminder Daniel Paul picked up the win in goal for Osoyoos, making 37 saves.

On Saturday, the Chiefs snapped a 1-1 tie with three consecutive goals in the second period. The Knights again got to within 4-2 but no closer.

Kevin-Thomas Walters and Jordan Smith scored for the Knights. Milligan made 26 saves in taking the loss.

North Okanagan visits the Revelstoke Grizzlies Saturday before hosting the Posse in a Monday, Family Day matchup at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. Game time will be 5 p.m.

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