Taking three out of four points is a pretty nice way to kick off 2022 in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League for the North Okanagan Knights.
After having their first two games of the new year cancelled by COVID, the Knights got back on the ice at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong Friday and Saturday, Jan. 7 and 8.
The Butler did it for the Knights Friday, in a 3-1 victory over the 100 Mile House Wranglers.
Newly acquired forward Paison Butler, picked up earlier in the week in a deal with the Sicamous Eagles, scored twice in his Knights debut, and joined fellow former Eagle Ty McNaughton in setting up Tyler Jamieson for the insurance marker midway through the third period on a powerplay.
Butler was acquired from Sicamous in exchange for the playing rights of Owen Spannier and Jesse Lee.
Jake Dubinsky picked up the win in goal for North Okanagan, making 28 saves, while Loic Mainguy-Crepault stopped 33 shots for the Wranglers.
Dubinsky was sensational 24 hours later, making 67 saves in a losing effort as the Knights fell 4-3 to the Bill Ohlhausen Division-leading Osoyoos Coyotes in overtime.
Luke Rishaug got the point for North Okanagan with a powerplay goal at 8:09 of the final period. The game came after the Coyotes scored twice in less than two minutes to take a 3-2 lead.
Tyler Badger got the winner for Osoyoos at 2:29 of the first overtime.
Butler opened the scoring with his third goal for the Knights coming at 10:47 of the first period.
After Osoyoos tied the contest, newly named North Okanagan captain Kyle Bax gave the home team a 2-1 lead heading into the final frame.
Bax was named captain after a season-ending injury to Bryan Brew.
The Knights are slated to hit the road for their next two games Friday, Jan. 14, in Princeton, and Sunday, Jan. 6, in Osoyoos.
North Okanagan (8-13-4-1) have a four-point lead on the Posse (7-18-3-0) for fourth place in the division, and hold two games in hand on Princeton.
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