Midget Vipers love Michigan route
They met Red Wing GM Ken Holland at Joe Louis Arena before watching Detroit play the Dallas Stars, they watched NCAA basketball and hockey games, toured some major schools, and played a lot of high-level hockey.
It was a fantasy trip of sorts for the Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Tier 1 Vipers, coached by Rob Spraggs and Scott Flood. The Snakes played five games in the Muskegon, Mich. Invitational.
“It was amazing,” said Spraggs, assisted by Scott Flood. “We improved every day and even though we went 0-5, I think that overall the boys played really well and they were able to compete with some of the best Midget U18 AAA programs in North America.”
The Vipers ended their trek Monday morning by visiting the Notre Dame University in Chicago.
“The boys were enthralled with the athletic facilities there as well as the history that could be seen all over campus,” said Spraggs. “It was the highlight of the week for many of them. This team is a collection of the nicest, well-mannered and polite young men I have ever seen. They received compliments everywhere we went. They were a shining example of what a group of hockey players should be. They represented themselves and GVMHA incredibly well on this trip.”
While on a two-hour visit of Michigan State, the Vipers sat in the Munn Arena dressing room stalls and listened to advice from Spartans’ head coach Tom Anastos.
The Vipers finished the Muskegon invitational Sunday, losing 4-2 to the Western Michigan U18 Hounds and falling 2-0 to the St. Louis Falcons.
Chad Thomas and Blaine Caton scored Vernon goals against the Hounds with Bruin Stair going the distance in net.
St. Louis outshot the Vipers 29-22 with Stair in goal. It was scoreless after one period.
Vernon (6-7-2) takes on the California U16 Selects Saturday (10:30 a.m.) at Civic before starting the Okanagan Mainline playoffs the following weekend against Kamloops (9-4-2).
Mustangs face Rockets in playoffs
The Watkin Motors Mustangs lost 3-1 to the Kelowna Jr. Rockets in Pee Wee Tier 1 action Saturday at Memorial Arena.
It was scoreless at the ice clean as Jordan Wilde excelled between the Mustang pipes. Dylan Sedlacek converted, from Coleton Bilodeau and Dawson Chase.
The two teams met again Sunday morning in exhibition play with the host Rockets winning 7-3. Rowan Miller, Nicholas Cherkowski and Sedlacek handled the Vernon offence.
The Mustangs (4-10-1) visit the Rockets (8-5-1) Friday night for Game 1 in the best-of-three semifinal playoff series. The second game goes Sunday, 2:45 p.m. at Civic Arena in Vernon.
Coca-Cola Midgets fall to Kelowna
The Coca-Cola Midget Tier 3 Vipers wrapped up their regular season by losing 5-3 to the West Kelowna Warriors Saturday at Wesbild Centre.
Jordan Rea opened the scoring for Vernon with assists to Jeff Bochon and Hayden Chase. Scott Latwat levelled the score with assists to Mitchell Lukacs and Zach Manton.
Midway through the second period, Lukacs scored on the power play with assists to Lee Springer and Brandon Rysen.
The Warriors netted three unanswered goals, improving to 7-7. Evan Campagnolo took the loss for the 7-7 Vipers. The Coca-Cola crew wrap up their season with the Tri-Cities tournament, Feb. 22-24, in Washington State.
Tier 3 Vikes take down Kelowna
The Vernon Fix-Auto Vikings ended their Bantam Tier 3 regular season with a 4-3 victory over the Kelowna Rockets Sunday at Civic Arena.
Vernon took a 2-0 lead into the ice clean on goals by Colton Skead, from Carl Main and Cody Bauml, and Stephan Richard on a breakaway, after a feed from Logan Imrich.
The Vikings (6-9) took a 3-1 lead late into the third period before Kelowna (7-7-1) took advantage of some penalty trouble to equalize.
With 22 seconds to play, Richard converted from Imrich and Jason Shaigec. Vernon’s third goal came from Skead, assists going to Shaigec and Riley Swiscoski. The Vikings are in a Prince George tournament this weekend.
Vernon girls boost Midget Silvertips
The Salmon Arm Silvertips, whose roster includes nine girls from Vernon, blanked Kelowna 6-0 in Midget A action Sunday at the Shaw Centre. And the Vernon girls played a key role in the victory.
Goalie Kylie Assi picked up the shutout, while Jenna Lazar and Lisa Campeau both added a goal and an assist. Ashley Tinney also chipped in with a helper.
Other Vernon girls on the 14-0-1 Silvertips include Brittany Jackson, Jess Murphy, Hannah Scherck, Danielle Butler and Molly Box, while Leea Lawson serves as the team’s manager.
Tier 4 Knights lose to Grizzlies
In Pee Wee Tier 4 action, the North Okanagan Knights fell 9-8 to the Revelstoke Grizzlies Sunday afternoon in Enderby.
Ethan Maarhuis and Matt Dolinar each scored twice with Dolinar pulling the Knights within a goal, with 30 seconds left, and goalie Wyatt Fowler on the bench for a sixth attacker.
Wesley Graves, Michael Kormany, Jake Crandelmire and Kord Haller added singles.
Wolfpack brush back Bruins 10-2
The H&L Glass Wolfpack smothered the host Winfield Bruins 10-2 in Senior Atom Development action Saturday.
Tanner Brown, Trevor Kennedy and Ben King each netted a pair of goals with singles coming from Steel Quiring, Logan Chapdelaine, Porter Treveylan and Ben Imrich. The Wolfpack improved to 15-0-1. Winfield dipped to 3-8-3.
On Sunday, the Wolfpack iced the Vernon Valleywood Venom 4-1 in exhibition play.
Jaxxon Collard, Isaac Thomas, King and Chapdelaine handled the Pack offence. Gavin Medema replied for the Venom.
Cayden Hamming and Tanner Witt split the H&L goaltending duties.
Okanagan gains split with Blazers
The Okanagan Rockets split a pair of Okanagan Major Midget League games with the Thompson Blazers of Kamloops.
Vernon Viper prospect Alex Gran, Brett Mennear, Josh Blanchard, Cortlan Proctor and Carter Hikichi scored as the Rockets bounced the Blazers 5-2 Saturday at the Capital News Centre.
Spencer Hewson of Vernon had one assist for the Rockets. Nicholas Chyzowski bagged two goals for the Blazers.
Chyzowski supplied two snipes Sunday morning as the Blazers surprised the Rockets 4-2 at Art Holding Memorial Arena in Chase.
Mennear and Justin Marreck scored for the third-place Rockets (21-4-5). The Blazers are 6-24-2. Vernon’s Dennon Leibel is with the Rockets, who visit the Cariboo Cougars this weekend.