A tough opening 20 minutes cost the North Okanagan Knights Wednesday.
The hometown Princeton Posse scored three times, then added an insurance marker late in the second period to post a 4-2 Kootenay International Junior Hockey League win over the Knights, who played without head coach Bryant Perrier, suspended one game following a game misconduct picked up on the weekend.
The Knights entertain the Grand Forks Border Bruins (11-11-0-2) tonight at 7:30 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre before visiting the Kelowna Chiefs Saturday.
“We were really flat, right from the start,” said Perrier, who watched the game from the stands.
Graham Watkins with his seventh of the season, set up by game star Cameron Welch and Colin Robin, and Welch, with his fifth of the year, from Jordan Fidanza, scored for the Knights who got back to within 3-2 in the second period. Carter added his second with 1:20 left in the period for the Posse.
There was no scoring in the third period.
Paul finished with 21 saves while Zakery Babin made 25 stops for the Posse (6-15-0-1), who moved into a fourth-place tie in the Okanagan Shuswap Division with the Knights (4-15-1-4).
“It’s disappointing because we had an opportunity to separate from this team (Posse),” said Perrier. “I was really disappointed with our effort.”
Perrier did praise the effort of third-year veteran Robin.
“Colin brought a level of urgency,” he said.
Princeton has two games in hand on North Okanagan, who play 11 of their next 12 games against divisional rivals.