Chiefs start to roll thanks to defense first philosophy

Kelowna allows just three goals against in three game winning streak

Preaching defense first appears to be starting to payoff for the Kelowna Chiefs.

The Kootenay International Hockey League team has won three games in a row, allowing just a single goal against in those games, to climb to within a game of .500.

The latest victory came Sunday night when the Chiefs beat the first place Osoyoos Coyotes 5-1 in Osoyoos, improving its record to 7-8-0-0.

“We’re pretty happy with the way we are playing,” said Chiefs coach Ken Andrusiak. “We’re trying to preach defense because we don’t have an abundance of scoring. It’s a work in progress but we’re getting better.”

Five different Chiefs hit the score-sheet on Sunday as Brady Mende, Kyle Clerke, Kevin Lenzin, Jordan Salahor and Braeden Hikichi scored in the 5-1 win over Osoyoos.

A night earlier at Rutland Arena. Salahor had a six point night in an 8-1 win over Summerland.

Andrusiak says the team has been focussed on teaching its defensive system to the players and that may have been one of the reasons for a slow start to the year.

“It takes time for the players to consume all the information and start playing the way you want them to,” he said.

Kelowna is getting set for a busy weekend as it will play three games in three nights this coming weekend.

The Chiefs host Princeton Friday before traveling to Kamloops on Saturday. They will then return home Sunday to meet Summerland.

“We have three games in three nights so it will be a tough weekend,” said Andrusiak. “Our goal is to get to .500 and then go from there.”

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