The Princeton Posse beat the North Okanagan Knights 4-1 Friday night, March 10, to clinch the Bill Ohlhausen division championship in the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League (KIJHL) and advance to the conference finals.
The Posse blew the game out in the third period, scoring three times – twice on an empty net – to finish the best-of-seven series with just one rather spectacular 7-3 loss Tuesday in Armstrong, forcing the action back to Princeton and victory on home ice.
Princeton now faces off against the Revelstoke Grizzlies, with the winner of that match up heading to the Tech Cup championship.
Friday night, in well-deserved nods, goalies for both teams were chosen as the Game Stars. Princeton’s Peyton Trzaska made 32 saves on 33 shots. The Knights’ Josh Hager, who played three games for Princeton during the regular season, made 33 stops on 35 chances.
The Posse opened the scoring with less than five minutes to go in the first period, off the stick Lucas Sadownyk, assisted by Jake McCulley and Kassius.
Collin Kozijn answered for the Knights midway through the second, with help from Tyler Badger.
Grady Serling-Poncech scored the game winner early in the third period, with Dayton Nelson and Brayden Bablitz earning assists.
Kler and Anmol Garcha sealed North Okanagan’s fate on double-tap breakaways in the last minute of game play, after the Knight bench pulled Hager in a futile effort to even the score.
While Princeton and Revelstoke are confirmed for the semi-finals, hockey fans will have to wait for the results of divisional final contests between Fernie and Kimberley (series at 3-2) and Creston and Beaver Valley (series at 3-2) before the next round begins.
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