It was the seventh game in ten days for the Kelowna Chiefs (12-8-2-0) and they were playing on tired legs and bruised bodies. They were up against a North Okanagan Knights team with nothing to lose but the Chiefs defeated the Knights 2-1 in overtime and can now look forward to some much deserved time off.
The win was the fourth for the Chiefs in this seven game stretch and came at the end of a second consecutive weekend with three games. Coach Jason Tansem, when asked about the game and the stretch replied "It was a gutsy effort by our team. The (North Okanagan Knights) had nothing to lose and a full tank of gas. Some had vendetta in their games. This team has amazing chemistry and we believe in them."
Games between the Chiefs and North Okanagan (4-14-3-1) are always a chippy affair and the first period was nothing less with trash talk and shoving after whistles and a scrap between the Chiefs' Leif Undseth and North Okanagan's Mitchell Lukacs. There was however some hockey played in the period between scrums and it was Chiefs' Brody Dale scoring his third goal of the season from Dakota Kittle and Leif Undseth. That was the only goal of the period and the Chiefs went to the break up 1-0.
The second period was more civilized allowing North Okanagan some room to skate, helped by a power play at 4:08. On the heels of the power play North Okanagan's Ryan Moon scored on a rebound that appeared to be put in with a high stick. Officials determined it was a good goal however, tying the game 1-1. Aside from additional front of the net between whistle festivities and a mysterious ten-minute misconduct to Chiefs' Luke Kalenuik after a North Okanagan player did his best Christiano Ronaldo impression between whistles, the period would end tied.
After playing 6 games plus 2 bang and crash periods in ten days, it stands to reason the Chiefs' players were feeling exhausted. In the final 20 minutes it was starting to show, but the Chiefs held fast and kept North Okanagan at bay. Late in the period, North Okanagan game star Daniel Paul (33 saves) made two game saving stops within a minute of each other on Brody Dale and the game would need overtime.
Chiefs' game star Brody Dale would get the final word just 52 seconds into overtime, tipping a point shot from Ty Dornn past Paul for his second goal of the game. Josh Tetlichi made 17 saves for his fifth win of the season and second in a row.
The Chiefs visit the Summerland Steam on Friday, November 20th looking to respond to the 5-1 loss that began this seven game stretch. The following night (Saturday, November 21st), the North Okanagan Knights return to Rutland Arena for a rematch. Saturday's game time is 7pm with doors open at 6pm.