Kelowna forward Tanner Clarkson scores the winning goal on a power play in the third period as the Chiefs defeat Princeton 6-4 Tuesday at Rutland Arena in the seventh and deciding game of the opening round KIJHL playoff series.

Chiefs get Coyotes in 2nd round

The Kelowna Chiefs expect to have their hands full with the Okanagan Division champion Osoyoos Coyotes.

But that doesn’t mean Ken Andrusiak’s gang will be waving the white flag in their second-round KIJHL playoff series.

The Coyotes, who lost just twice in regulation play during the regular season, took seven of eight meetings from the Chiefs this season.  

The best-of-seven matchup begins Friday night in Osoyoos, with Game 2 set for Saturday at the Sun Bowl.

“I don’t know how we’re going to do, but systems are designed to give you a chance to win no matter who you’re playing,” said Andrusiak. “If the guys follow the system, then we think we have a chance.”

Andursiak said the Coyotes strength is their depth as they can roll four lines, all with the ability to score. 

Osoyoos also has a potent power play that operates at better than 50 per cent, so staying out of the penalty box will be paramount to the Chiefs’ success, said Andrusiak. 

The Chiefs are coming off a character-building win over Princeton in the opening round of the playoffs.

Kelowna overcame a 2-0 series deficit to beat the Posse in seven games.

The clincher was a 6-4 victory on Tuesday night at Rutland Arena. 

After a rocky start, Andrusiak said his team gradually learned about what it takes to win in the playoffs. 

“We don’t have a lot of playoff experience and the guys weren’t prepared to play at first,” said Andrusiak. “Until you’re in that playoff atmosphere and go through it, it’s tough. But the guys learned and adapted well…the last three games we competed pretty hard and the kids got rewarded for it. It’s a nice accomplishment for our team.”

Games 3 and 4 of the Chiefs-Coyotes series are set for Rutland Arena on Sunday and Monday. 

 

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