Cat offence comes alive
The Vernon Re/Max Tigers snapped a five-game winless streak with a 12-4 shellacking of the South Okanagan Flames in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.
Ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes, the Tigers (4-4-1) exploded for seven goals in the second period to take a commanding lead.
Nolan Frame paced the Tiger assault with a monster eight-point night (3+5), giving Vernon a much-needed boost on offence. Saturday night’s offensive output matched the Tigers’ three previous games combined.
Also chipping in offensively were Mitch Steele, with 2+2, Braden Barr and Riley Soleway, with two goals each, and Jordan Orr, Craig Bigsby and Jay Seaton, each with 1+2.
Derek Grimm was the Flames’ top threat with two goals.
“We were pleased with the win as South OK wanted the win just as badly as we did. The win keeps us in contention to land in the top-two if we carry our weekend work ethic forward,” said head coach Myles Brumpton, who noted his team’s discipline in taking just four penalty minutes.
“As a collective group we worked hard during the week to close the holes in our game which we felt were the contributing factors for our four-game slide. Our defence is now executing as a group (as opposed to) trying to win the individual battles, and they are now beginning to reap the benefits of this transformation.”
Vernon hosts the Kamloops Venom (4-5-1)Saturday at Wesbild.
Meanwhile, the Armstrong Shamrocks shaded the host Kamloops Rattlers 7-6 Sunday night at McArthur Island Sports Centre.
In a chippy game that saw several momentum swings, the baby Rocks opened the scoring on the powerplay when Owen Barker ripped a shot into the top left corner. Cullen Rowan, who ended the night with a Gordie Howe hat trick, made it 2-0 when he cut behind the defence on a bad Kamloops line change and buried a low bounce shot.
An apparent lighting issue in the arena resulted in a darkened defensive end for the second-place Rocks (6-3-2), allowing the last-place Rattlers (2-8) to equalize with two goals in the dark on Cole MacFarlane (35 saves). Milan Marcetta ripped a shot from the slot to make it 3-2 after the first period.
The Rattlers scored an early powerplay goal to tie the game in the second period, but the Rocks answered quickly when Dylan Bilanchuk grabbed a rebound off the boards and picked the top right corner for his first of the year.
Kamloops added two late goals to take a 5-4 lead into the intermission.
Armstrong’s Drew Hassard cut in from the right side and split the defence to pull his team even in the third, and Brett Hawrys, on the powerplay, ripped a low point shot to put the Shamrocks in front.
Tied again with three minutes remaining, Hawrys, a natural left-handed player, switched to his right to record the winner, breakin in from the right side.
The Rattlers took an undisciplined penalty with less than two minutes to play and the Shamrocks ran out the clock for the win.
“We played with Shamrock pride in the third tonight and won. That was a big road win for us,” said Armstrong head coach Pat Nelson.
“We totally out-chanced them and seemed to hit posts and miss on breakaways tonight, but we dug deep and pulled out the win.”
The Rocks visit the South Okanagan Flames Saturday night in Penticton.