Midgets make semifinal shootout
Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers lost 2-1 in a shootout to the Kelowna Fripps Warehouse Rockets in Saturday’s semifinal of the Columbia Bitulithic Midget Tier 1 Hockey Tournament in Prince George.
Logan Geefs scored for the Vipers in regulation. Geefs and Blaine Caton were both stoned by the Rockets’ goalie in the shootout, while Kelowna used some great moves to score twice on Bruin Stair, who was sensational in regulation.
The Vipers then bowed 4-3 to the Prince George Coast Inn of the North Cougars in consolation play Sunday after getting shelled 7-1 by the Cougars in the round-robin. The Cats crushed Vernon 10-1 in the final of the Vipers’ home tournament earlier this season.
Richard Meaney, Travis Churchill and Caton scored in support of a dialed-in Jayden Campbell.
Jacob Dolinar recorded four snipes as the Vipers bounced the Chilliwack Bruins 6-4 before stuffing the Mission Stars 5-1.
“I thought we played some of our best hockey of the year against some very highly-ranked teams.,” said Home Building Centre head coach Rob Spraggs, assisted by Scott Flood and Mike Burke.
“We completely dominated every team at times and went for long stretches in the periods where the opposition couldn’t get a shot on net and could only ice the puck to relieve the pressure.
“In the semifinal game versus Kelowna, we completely dominated them, but couldn’t find a way through their goalkeeper. Bruin and Jayden were outstanding all weekend in goal, making some huge saves at key times. We made a big statement this weekend that we will be a serious contender in the new year.”
The Vipers face the touring California U16 Selects Saturday morning (9:45) at Wesbild Centre.
Sladen Moore Vipers finish fifth
The Sladen Moore Female Vipers iced the host Kamloops Mystix 4-0 Sunday to finish fifth in a Bantam Girls Rep tournament.
Paige Chapdelaine scored in the first on a power play and then Cailee Bauml extended the lead when she corralled her own rebound on a goal-mouth scramble. Hunter Joseph scored shorthanded with a hard slap shot and Olivia Comeau completed the offence late in the third. Maya Baker earned the shutout.
The Lakers opened by icing the Surrey Falcons 5-2 on goals from Mairyn Tucker (2), Taylor Vandale, Comeau and Andie Kaneda.
Vernon then fell 4-0 to North Shore before losing 7-1 to Terrace. Kaneda, after a nice set up by Jenna Fletcher, gave Vernon the lead on Terrace. Bailey Berndt was in goal versus Terrace.
In Pee Wee Tier 1 play, the Watkin Motors Mustangs erased a 3-1 deficit to gain a 3-3 tie with Kelowna Saturday at the Capital News Centre.
Jordan Wilde was rock-solid in net and goals came from Dylan Sedlacek (Dawson Chase, Coleton Bilodeau), Bilodeau (Powell Connor, Drayden Dougan) and Nick Cherkowski (Connor, Juli Gilowski).
The Mustangs bowed 7-2 to the Kamloops Jardine Blazers Sunday at Wesbild Centre. Mika Burns (Rowan Miller, Joe Eggert) and Caden Bracken (Colton Schaper-Kotter, Josh Bridge) counted the 3-5 Vernon goals.
The Mustangs entertain Kelowna Friday at 6 p.m. at Priest Valley Arena and then take on Prince George Sunday (12:30 p.m.) at Wesbild.
Bantam Vikings take B final title
The Vernon Auto Fix Vikings defeated the Westside Warriors 3-1 in the B Final of the Salmon Arm Bantam Tier 3 tourney Sunday afternoon.
Brian Ferguson, Colton Skead and Logan Imrich handled the Vikings’ offence. Vernon put pressure on the Warriors all game, using good hustle and physical play to keep them hemmed in their own zone for long stretches at a time.
Led by some fabulous goaltending by Ethan Huizinga and Conor Webb, Vernon defeated the Salmon Arm SilverBacks 4-2 in the early game to advance to the finals.
Heavy hitter Carl Main netted two goals with d-man Jason Shaigec adding a single along with an empty netter from Stephane Richard.
The Vikings rallied to clip Westside 4-3 in a tough, physical round-robin game Saturday night.
Trailing 3-0 entering the third, Vernon stormed back with MVP Kyle Sherwood reeling off three goals in less than four minutes to level the score.
Assists went to Logan Imrich and Liam Hennig. With 1:34 left, Hennig knocked in the rebound from call-up Brett Lambert’s shot to seal the comeback. Huizinga made several stellar saves to keep the score close.
In earlier action, the Vikes lost 5-1 to the Langley Eagles. Austin Caldwell, from Brayden Jones, had the Vernon goal.
The North Okanagan Pee Wee Tier 4 Knights stopped the Salmon Arm Tier 3 Silvertips 6-0 in exhibition action Sunday in Enderby.
Bryan Brew, Matthew Dolinar, Eli Dwyer, Kord Haller, Brett Zbytnuik and Wesley Graves accounted for the Knights’ goals. Michael Kormany earned four assists, while Brandon Matvenko pocketed two in support of Wyatt Fowler.
Venom, Wolfpack remain undefeated
In Senior Atom Development action, the Vernon H&L Glass Wolfpack skated to a thrilling 1-1 tie with the Kamloops Nailers Saturday morning at Wesbild Centre.
The 8-0-1 Wolfpack outshot Kamloops 57-17 but could only sneak one goal past the rock solid goaltending of Kamloops.
The Nailers opened the scoring midway through the second period before Logan Chapdelaine tied it up before the end of the second. Trevor Kennedy and Steel Quiring drew assists.
The Valley Wood Venom crushed the Kelowna #1 Capitals 14-1, toppled the Kamloops #1 Blazers 6-1 and ambushed Merritt 15-2 in Senior Atom league home action.
Lochlan O’Keefe supplied 4+1 against Kelowna, while Jacob Boden, Cameron Moger and Jakob Jones each bagged a deuce and singles went to Brayden Szeman, Gavin Medema, Coletyn Boyarski and Scott Gilowski. Boyarski had four assists, while Owen Beliveau, Medema and Moger had two apiece.
The Venom got two snipes from O’Keefe and Tysen Fairweather and singles from Moger and Boyarski versus Kamloops. Jones, Moger and Boden each registered two helpers.
Kobe Grant and Owen Swiscoski were stellar in the 9-0 Venom net.