Picking up in December where they left off in November, the Kelowna Chiefs find themselves within two points of top spot in the Okanagan Division of the Kootenay International Junior Hockey League.
A 3-2 overtime triumph over the host Golden Rockets on Saturday came on the heels of their 6-1 triumph in Invermere against the Columbia Valley Rockies on Friday.
Going 9-2-1 in November, the Chiefs have now won 10 of their past 13 games and trail the Princeton Posse (17-8-0-1) by two points The two weekend wins improved the Chiefs' record to 16-10-1-0 overall.
With two of their top scorers out of the lineup with injuries, the Chiefs relied on a pair of late goals from Brady Mende to pull out the win on Saturday. The Winfield Minor Hockey Association product scored the winner with 3:08 remaining in overtime, after sending the game into OT with a similar goal with just 56 seconds left in regulation time.
Both goals came off rebounds in close, the tying goal being scored with Kelowna goaltender Tyler O'Donnell on the bench in favour of an extra skater.
The Chiefs scored the only goal of the first period, with Nick Josephs doing the honours with his 15th goal in his 16th game. He leads the league in points per game with 2.1.
Golden replied with the lone goal of the second and took the lead at 1:16 of the third.
The Chiefs played the entire game without Scott Renner - out with neck injury - and lost Jordan Salahor, their leading scorer, left in the second period with an undetermined ailment.
Salahor was coming off a five-point game against Columbia Valley on Friday.
The 19-year-old centre assisted on five of the Chiefs' six goals, moving him to within a point of Colton Schell of the Nelson Leafs atop the KIJHL individual scoring race.
Salahor, with 44 points in 27 games, is playing on a line between Renner and Josephs, the latter scoring three times against the Rockies and Renner adding a pair of goals.
Rookie Mitchell Barker added a goal for the Chiefs, who scored three power-play goals in the third period. Kenny Fitzgerald was the winning goalie, stopping 28 of 29 shots.
Counting heavily - perhaps too much - on the Salahor-Penner-Josephs unit, the Chiefs believe they have found added scoring punch in new acquisition, Jagger Bowles. He accumulated 40 points in 45 regular season games with the Sicamous Eagles last season and led the team with 13 goals and 17 assists in 19 playoff games.
The 19-year-old native of Calgary has been out for most of the season with a broken thumb, but the Chiefs expect him to be in their lineup before Christmas.
Meanwhile, action resumes tonight for the team as it travels to Summerland to play the Steam. They'll host the same team on Saturday (7 p.m.) at the Rutland Arena.