Osoyoos head coach Mark Chase called it — special teams play would decide a pivotal match between his club and the Kelowna Chiefs.
Unfortunately for the Coyotes, it was the Chiefs who had the lion’s share of the man advantage opportunities Friday evening, scoring twice on the powerplay to notch a 5-2 win over the visiting Yotes.
The Coyotes (12-14-2) were whistled for 15 minor infractions and spent more than 16 minutes playing four-on-five hockey against the explosive Chiefs (26-1-1-2), who served up just four powerplay opportunities in return.
The result was yet another busy night for Coyotes goaltender Daniel Paul, who faced 51 shots. He also managed two minor penalties of his own.
The Yotes scored a pair of powerplay goals themselves — Blake Astorino notching one at 11:48 of the second period and Tyler Badger adding the second midway through the final period — but also gave up a short-handed goal early in the third.
The Chiefs led 2-0 after 20 minutes of play and 3-1 after two periods.
In other KIJHL play involving Okanagan division teams last night, Princeton doubled up the Eagles 6-3 in Sicamous and North Okanagan knocked off the visiting Summerland Steam 4-2.
The Coyotes will look to rebound tonight when they host the 100 Mile House Wranglers (13-11-1-3).
Don’t forget to wear an ugly Christmas sweater and bring a donation for the Osoyoos Food Bank and BC SPCA. The game sponsor is the Oliver Osoyoos Wine Association.
Game time at Sun Bowl Arena is 7:35 p.m.