The North Okanagan Knights took game seven of the Okanagan-Shuswap Conference final against the Osoyoos Coyotes in a 4 – 0 shutout on Sunday, March 24 in Armstrong.
The win sends the Knights to the KIJHL championship series against the Castlegar Rebels.
North Okanagan scored three times in the first 20 minutes and added another in the third.
Game one of the championship series is on Tuesday, March 26 at the Castlegar Community Complex at 7:30 p.m.
The Rebels have played 16 playoff games enroute to the final; the same number as the Knights.
Castlegar has found the net 62 times throughout the playoffs, beating the Spokane Braves in five games, Beaver Valley Nitehawks in seven and sweeping the Golden Rockets in four straight. The Rebels have gone into overtime three times in the post-season.
The Knights, meanwhile, have scored 54 times and also swept their second-round series with the Sicamous Eagles. They have gone into extra time only once.
The Rebels last played on March 19 (winning the Kootenay Conference) and should be well-rested heading into the final.
Castlegar forwards Jamie Vlanich and Stuart Walton each have 19 points in the playoffs, and have scored a combined 13 times. It will be important that Vlanich keep himself on the ice against the Knights, as he also leads the team in playoff penalty minutes… just eight short of a full hour.
The last time the Castlegar team won the league championship was in the 1995-96 season. The last time they played for the trophy, however, was in 2010-11 when Osoyoos went on to claim the title.
Castlegar won back-to-back titles in 1976-77 and 1977-78.