It wasn’t pretty, but it sure was a character builder.
Osoyoos Coyotes earned their sixth-straight win Saturday evening — and they did it the hard way, falling behind 3-2 to the visiting Creston Valley Thunder Cats before turning on the ACME jets late in the game to score a 4-3 victory.
Adam Diotte’s goal with just 48 seconds remaining delivered the win, the powerplay marker coming on a designed play put into motion during a quick conversation on the bench.
“That powerplay group wasn’t able to connect the way they normally do and had to demonstrate great character to finally get the job done,” said head coach Mark Chase. “I give credit to that unit for executing what was drawn up and designed for them on the bench in a 15 second spare moment prior to them going out.
“It’s very rare that those types of plays become executed exactly as they were designed.”
Peter Michialides scored twice in the first period to give the Coyotes (7-10-1) an early 2-0 lead and what appeared some easy sailing against a club a long ways from home and suffering a 6-3 loss the night before.
But Creston Valley (5-11-0-2) made a game of it with three unanswered goals of their own — all coming on the powerplay — before Rhys Lepine would tie the game and set up Diotte’s late-game heroics.
Daniel Paul stopped 29 of 32 shots he faced; at the other end of the ice, the Coyotes notched 35 shots on the Thunder Cats’ Eric Samyn.
The win moves the Coyotes to within one point of third-place Princeton, which dropped a 2-1 decision to the Beaver Valley Nighthawks in Fruitvale.
“While our overall play wasn’t necessarily exceptional every shift, our group did manage to demonstrate moments of brilliance while creating the chances to allow ourselves to “get the job done,” said Chase.
“Our group has faced a significant amount of adversity this season and additionally in each game we play. They truly deserve their reward of six in a row.”
The Coyotes are on the road Friday, chasing Summerland, the division’s second-place team. Saturday, the squad is home to the Sicamous Eagles.