Braeden Tuck scored with 90 seconds remaining as the Osoyoos Coyotes eked out a 4-3 win over the visiting North Okanagan Knights last night to take a 2-0 lead in their Okanagan division semi-final playoff series.
The series now shifts to Armstrong for Games Three and Four on Friday and Saturday evening.
Tuck may have scored the game-winner but it was Knights netminder Daniel Paul who almost stole the show. Paul faced 60 shots, turning away 56 of them, including 27 in the first period.
Colton Rhodes opened the scoring two minutes into the game before Paul settled down and began to stone the Coyote snipers. Meanwhile, his Knights teammates solved Brent Soles twice, Patrick Nicholson beating the Osoyoos standout at 4:33 on the power play and Graham Watkins adding a second marker with 1:19 remaining in the first frame.
Osoyoos took a 3-2 lead into the third on Rhodes’ second goal of the night and Jackson Glimpel’s first goal of these playoffs.
North Okanagan tied the game with just 2:37 remaining on Mitchell Cobbett’s goal, setting up Tuck’s heroics a minute later.
In other KIJHL playoff action it was 100 Mile House 4, Revelstoke 3 in OT; Chase 6, Kamloops 1; Kimberley 4, Fernie 3 (OT); Creston 5, Columbia Valley 1, Beaver Valley 4, Nelson 2 and Grand Forks 4, Castlegar 2.
Kelowna and Summerland play this evening in Summerland while the Grizzlies and Wranglers will play the second game of their opening-round series in 100 Mile House.