Vernon’s Kevin-Thomas Walters of the North Oknaagan Knights (front) has re-joined the organization as a 20-year-old forward. Walters was the team’s leading scorer in 2019-20 before heading to Junior A stops in B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon’s Kevin-Thomas Walters of the North Oknaagan Knights (front) has re-joined the organization as a 20-year-old forward. Walters was the team’s leading scorer in 2019-20 before heading to Junior A stops in B.C., Alberta, and Saskatchewan. (Morning Star - file photo)

UPDATE: 100 Mile House Wranglers salvage KIJHL exhibition split with Knights

Hometown Wranglers win 5-3 Sunday after suffering 6-2 setback Saturday night

UPDATE SUNDAY, SEPT. 18, 4:05 P.M.

The hometown 100 Mile House Wranglers salvaged a split of their weekend Kootenay International Junior Hockey League exhibition doubleheader with the North Okanagan Knights.

The Wranglers got goals from five different players in a 5-3 win over the Knights.

Powerplay goals from Connor Sankey, at 12:44, and Brodie Pearson, at 15:37, pulled North Okanagan to within a goal at 4-3 before Kegan Landry scored his second of the game for 100 Mile House at 17:20 to ice the victory.

Collin Kozijn had the other goal for North Okanagan, who finished the pre-season slate at 2-2-0-1. Hayden Manning went the distance in the Knights goal Sunday, making 29 saves.

ORIGINAL STORY

The North Okanagan Knights won their third straight Kootenay International Junior Hockey League pre-season game Saturday, Sept. 17, downing the hometown 100 Mile House Wranglers 6-2.

It was the front end of a weekend doubleheader. Game 2 is Sunday at 1 p.m. in the south Cariboo.

The Knights scored twice in each period in Saturday’s win. Tyler Burke and Danny McLennen found the net to give North Okanagan a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Devin Jameson and Adam Zimmerman scored in the middle frame as the Knights stretched their lead to 4-2.

Matthew Johnston scored a pair of powerplay markers in the third period.

Austin Seibel went the distance in goal for North Okanagan, making 22 saves for the win.

• North Okanagan got a boost before boarding the bus when former leading scorer Kevin-Thomas (KT) Walters signed with the club.

Walters spent two seasons with the Knights in 2018-19 and 2019-20, scoring 32 goals and adding 34 assists for 66 points in 94 regular-season contests. His 18-16-34 was tops on the Knights in 2019-20.

He had 1-1-2 in six games with the B.C. Hockey League’s Coquitlam Express in ‘19-20, then moved to the Saskatchewan Junior A Hockey League’s Battlefords North Stars. He had two assists in three games in the COVID-shortened 2020-21 season.

Walters began 2021-22 with the North Stars, and scored 11 goals and 10 assists in 27 games before being dealt to the Cowichan Valley Capitals of the BCHL. He had 5-3-8 in 25 games with the Caps.

Walters was looking to land a spot with the Alberta Junior A League’s Olds Grizzlys before returning to the Knights. He suffered a minor injury in the Grizzly’s training camp which kept him off the bus for this weekend’s exhibition slate in 100 Mile House. He is listed as week-to-week according to head coach and general manager Liam McOnie.

“KT will bring a lot of experience, leadership, and provide a big offensive boost to our group,” said McOnie. “He is motivated to help the team win and we are looking forward to having him back in the lineup.”

The KIJHL regular season begins Friday, Sept. 23, and the Knights will open on the road Friday in Grand Forks against the Border Bruins. North Okanagan will play its home opener Friday, Sept. 30, against the Golden Rockets at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. Game time is 7:15 p.m.

READ MORE: North Okanagan Knights take two of three KIJHL pre-season games

READ MORE: Vees captain lifts Penticton over Vernon Vipers 5-3



roger@vernonmorningstar.com

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100 Mile House WranglersKIJHLNorth Okanagan Regional District