Three victories in a week give Coyotes hold on second place
Three victories in the past week have given the Osoyoos Coyotes a hold on second place in the Okanagan Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
The Coyotes beat the Kelowna Chiefs in back-to-back home games last Wednesday and Friday.
At the start of last week, the two teams were tied at 27 points each in a battle for second place in the division.
After wins of 5-3 Wednesday and a resounding 10-2 on Friday, followed by a 4-3 win in Sicamous, the Coyotes now lead Kelowna by 33-27 points.
Adding insult to injury, the Chiefs have tumbled to fourth place in the division as the Princeton Posse won both their weekend games to seize third place.
When the Chiefs played their first period against the Coyotes last Wednesday, it appeared for a moment that the two teams were fairly evenly matched. That didn’t last, and as their games progressed, they became more and more lopsided.
Friday’s game saw the Coyotes score five goals in the first period before the Chiefs even got on the scoreboard. The Coyotes outshot Kelowna 20-5 that period.
The second period was even worse for the Chiefs with Osoyoos scoring five more unanswered goals – four on power plays – to give the Coyotes a 10-1 lead going into the third period.
Only in the third period did the Chiefs recover enough to score a power play goal and to outshoot the Coyotes 11-6. By then it was far too late.
Carter Shannon was the Coyote star Friday night, earning a hat trick as well as two assists.
Colin Bell scored two goals. Judd Repole, who excels at setting up plays, managed four assists.
Other Coyote goals went to Carter Robinson, Sam Reinbolt, Hunter Johnson, Seth Kriese and Austin Cleaver.
Last Wednesday’s game saw a tightly fought first period in which each team took the lead for a while – first Kelowna and then Osoyoos – before the period ended in a 2-2- tie.
Osoyoos goals went to Johnson and Repole.
In the second period, 20 seconds into a Kelowna power play, Sam Reinbolt picked up a loose puck and skated in alone to score an unassisted, shorthanded goal and put the Coyotes ahead 3-2.
Less than three minutes later, Brandon Onstein passed the puck from beside the net to Colin Bell, who was right in front and fired it past goalie Max Gaudet.
Kelowna tried to come back in the third period, when Tyler Love closed the gap to 4-3.
But with just over four minutes remaining, Cody Allen scored the clincher for the Coyotes, unassisted, to end the game at 5-3. This was Allen’s first game back with the team.
Wednesday night’s game was preceded with a tailgate party in front of the Sun Bowl Arena where local singer Diane Ball sang Christmas songs and volunteer Glen Peter flipped burgers.
Perhaps the Coyotes were tired when they faced Sicamous on Saturday night. They managed to pull off a 4-3 win, but it was a tighter game than expected considering that the Eagles have only won four of the 28 games they’ve played this year and are second from the bottom of the entire league.
The Coyotes took a 3-0 lead in the first period with goals by Allen, Repole and Reinbolt.
But Sicamous was the only team to score in the second period, picking up two goals to narrow the gap to 3-2.
Kriese scored the Coyotes’ fourth goal nine minutes into the third period, but five minutes later the Eagles narrowed it again to 4-3.
Sicamous pulled goalie Zach Wickson for an extra forward with a couple minutes remaining, but neither team managed to capitalize.
Unlike the two games against Kelowna that saw players constantly in and out of the penalty box, the game in Sicamous was very civil. Each team only got two minor penalties and neither team got a penalty in their second period.
The Coyotes next play back-to-back games against the Kamloops Storm this Friday and Saturday with those games to be played in Quesnel.
They then play another road game next Wednesday, Dec. 13 in Princeton.