Sports

Pee Wees stoked for Coke Classic

Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs
Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs' Dawson Chase (facing) goes up against Kelowna Jr. Rockets' defender Luigi Russo in Okanagan Mainline Pee Wee Tier 1 Hockey League playoff action Sunday at Civic Arena.
— image credit: Natalia Vignola/Morning Star

Keith Chase was a burly 12-year-old defenceman when the Watkin Motors Mustangs won the 1980 Coca-Cola Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Classic.

The Mustangs also won the B.C. title that season under coach Hubie Petersen. They got leadership from the likes of future NHLers Brent Gilchrist, Jeff Finley and Bruce Major.

Now 45 and a successful businessman, Chase will guide his son, Dawson, a d-man, and the rest of the Mustangs in the 42nd Coke Classic. The Mustangs open Thursday (8 a.m.) against the Calgary Springbank Whalers at Civic Arena. The Whalers are coached by former NHLer Geoff Sanderson.

“As soon as they (tourney directors) give us the bags in the dressing room (in late fall), the kids get excited right off the hop,” said Chase. “It’s like the show; you get a flood after every period and the kids get their names announced. It’s definitely a highlight. It’s such a well-run tournament.”

Chase says the Mustangs enjoy success with a strong forecheck, creative cycle and putting pucks on net.

The Mustangs meet the Hollyburn Huskies of West Vancouver in Thursday’s feature game at 6 p.m. and then battle the Edmonton Seera Icemen Friday at 3 p.m.

The Spokane Jr. Chiefs face the Vancouver Thunderbirds at 12:30 p.m. and the Calgary Southland Sabres tangle with the Nanaimo Clippers at 2:45 p.m. in other first-round games Thursday.

The semifinals go Saturday at 12:30 and 2:45 with the A final scheduled for Sunday at 5:30 p.m.

The Mustangs closed the Okanagan Mainline season with a 7-3 playoff loss to the Kelowna Jr. Rockets Sunday at Civic. Kelowna won the best-of-three series in straight games.

Nick Cherkowski, unassisted, Joe Eggert from Mika Burns and CJ Storey, and Dawson Chase, from Burns and Storey, handled the scoring.

The Vanderhoof Bruins iced the Vernon Fix Auto Vikings 5-2 in Sunday’s final of the Prince George Bantam Tier 3 Tournament.

Vernon jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead on goals from Kyle Sherwood before the Bruins equalized before the end of the first period.

The Vikings earned a bye into the finals by going 3-1 in the round-robin, bouncing the Burns Lake Bruins 3-0 early Saturday behind stellar goaltending from Conor Webb,

Vernon matched the physical play of the bigger Bruins and wore them down. Stephane Richard opened the scoring in the first period on a breakaway and Logan Imrich made it 2-0 at the end of the first on a laser slap shot from the point. Carl Main completed the offence.

With just a couple hours rest, the weary Vikings then bowed 3-2 to the host Cougars with Main supplying both goals.

The Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Tier 1 Vipers tied the California U16 Selects 3-3 in exhibition play Saturday at Civic Arena.

Riley Booth converted on a sweet end-to-end rush with goalie Jaden Campbell getting the assist on the Vipers’ first snipe. California was up 2-1 when Chad Thomas tied it from Richard Meaney.

California took the lead again in the third, but Wyatt Warnes equalized with three minutes left.

The Vipers open the Okanagan playoffs Saturday in Kamloops. Game two goes the following Saturday in Vernon.

Lakers sweep TimberWolves

The Sladen Moore Lakers swept a Bantam A Female doubleheader with the Williams Lake TimberWolves, opening with a 9-1 win Saturday.

Emily Clarke scored twice to lead the Lakers, who got singles from Samantha Head, Taylor Vandale, Jenna Fletcher, Mairyn Tucker and Ripley Burd. Stay-at-home defencemen Makenna Southam and Chelsea McCaig showed their skills scoring their first goals of the season with rocket-like wristers from the high slot. Maya Baker lost her shut out bid with 1:41 remaining.

On Sunday, the Lakers won 3-2 after spotting the T-Wolves a 2-0 lead. Olivia Comeau scored on a rebound when she cashed in on the hard work of Andie Kaneda, who took the puck to the net and paid the price.

Paige Chapdelaine levelled the score in the second on a slapper from the high slot. Kaneda pocketed the winner when she deflected in Chelsea McCaig’s point shot. Bailey Berndt stopped a breakaway in the final minutes.

In Bantam Tier 3 exhibition play, the Sun Valley Source For Sports Renegades lost 4-2 to the West Kelowna Warriors.

Bryce Pyle, from Jagger Williamson, and Williamson, on a nifty tip of a Michael Lenoury point blast, had the goals.

The Nixon Wenger Tier 3 Pee Wee Rattlers finished their season with a 7-2 victory over Missoula, Mont. Sunday in Castlegar.

Lucas Halvorson scored twice, while Eric Noren added 1+2 and other goals came from Gavin Fleck, Damian Coljee-Fehr, Evan Trottier, and Tanner Wright. Cole Johnson and Lucas Wood each earned two helpers.

The Rattlers lost 8-4 to the host Nelson Leafs Saturday afternoon. Goals came from Zach Agar, Halvorson (game MVP), Fleck and Noren.

The North Okanagan Pee Wee Tier 4 Knights lost 6-2 to Kelowna in playoff action Saturday at Nor-Val Sports Centre. Bryan Brew, assisted by Tiera Joseph and Brett Zbytnuik, and Wesley Graves, from Brew and Griffin Evans, handled the Knights’ offence. Kelowna swept the series 2-0.

The Valley Wood Venom won their 15th consecutive Senior Atom Development league game with a 7-0 win over Kamloops #3.

Cole Boyarski and Jacob Boden each bagged two goals, while singles went to Gavin Medema, Ethan Beliveau and Lochlan O’Keefe in front of Kobe Grant and Owen Swiscoski.

In Atom Development action Saturday, the host H&L Glass Wolfpack, coached by ex-NHLer Dean McAmmond, knocked off the visiting Kelowna Kings (coached by ex-NHLer Byron Dafoe) 13-6.

Ben King netted five goals for the Pack, while Lucas Zubrod had a pair and singles went to Tanner Brown, Jaxxon Collard, Isaac Thomas, Porter Trevelyan, Trevor Kennedy and Logan Chapdelaine.

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