The Central Zone Rockets of Kelowna grounded the North Zone Kings of Vernon 8-3 in Sunday’s matinee final of a four-team Midget Tier 1 hockey tournament at Civic Arena.
The Kings, coached by Jared Barendregt, shaded the Rockets 5-4 in a preliminary thriller Saturday night.
Starter Caleb Mitchell stopped a Central Zone breakaway two minutes in and Eric Noren of the Kings was stymied on a pair of good chances on his first shift.
The Kings gained a four-minute man advantage at 12:50 and took the lead 1-0 as Noren picked the blocker side, top corner, from the high slot off feeds from Armstrong’s Dylan Huber and Eli Dwyer.
An unfortunate own goal nullified the lead as a North Zone d-man fired a puck into his own net attempting to make a pass on the same powerplay, tying things just 34 seconds later.
Another gaffe cost the Kings at the 7:43 mark after a giveaway behind their net created a quick wraparound into an open net to make it 2-1 Rockets. The energized Rockets took advantage of the deflated Kings, registering their third on a bang-bang play down low.
The Rockets beat Mitchell blocker side with 3:54 left in the first to take a 4-1 lead. Barendregt switched tenders to Tyler Sedlacek to try and spark his squad. An early fresh-ice powerplay for the Kings resulted in giveaway at their blueline and a second shorthanded marker for the Rockets.
Cam Moger’s slapper off a scramble in the second period appeared to give the Kings a lift before they took a penalty and the Rockets converted.
The Kings fell behind 8-2 while two men short before Nic Teale connected for the Kings on a scramble down low to complete the offence.
Alternate captain Dawson Chase cruised down the sidewall and fed Teale for the eventual winner as the Kings erased a 3-1 deficit to stop the Rockets in the round-robin. Teale finished with a deuce, while Kohen Martin,
Noren and Eli Dwyer supplied singles. Martin tossed a monster hit on his first shift to pump up the Kings.
Martin, with two, Caden Bracken, Chase and Teale handled the offence as the Kings bounced the Calgary Buffaloes 5-1 in Sunday morning playoff action.
Meanwhile, the Coca-Cola Vipers iced the Port Moody Panthers 4-0 in Sunday’s final of a Midget Tier 3 tournament in Sicamous.
Gavin Fleck bagged two goals, while Zayne Hanke, with the winner, and KT Walters produced singles for the Coke crew (19-0 on the season). Koltin Dodge registered the shutout.
Vernon shut down Langley 5-0 with Dodge in net and then got two goals from Tyson Sampert in a 4-1 win over Port Moody to start preliminary action.
Walters counted 1+2, Dayton Bryan connected with a sweet shorthanded tally and Jordan Foster was in net as the Vipers stuffed South Okanagan 8-2.
Sampert, Fleck and Trevor Kennedy each collected five points as Vernon mercied Windermere 17-0 with Foster in net.
The Watkin Motors Mustangs crushed the Salmon Arm Silvertips 14-2 in Pee Wee Tier 2 play Saturday at the Shaw Centre. Hudson Kibblewhite (3+2) and Zac Milne (2-+) led the Mustangs’ offence.
“Good scoring from all three lines and a great all-around team effort,” said Vernon head coach Taylor Wilson.
“We had strong defensive efforts from Brady Kuziw and Brayden Schwaerzle and it was great to see Theo (Van Wyk) back with the team and scoring a goal.”
Van Wyk was recently cleared to play after going through concussion protocol.
Eight different forwards scored, including Deagan McMillan, with a goal and three assists.
Erik Pastro chipped in with 2+1. Austin Seibel and Matthew Kuhnlein split goaltending duties for the 2-0-1 Mustangs, who entertain Kelowna in league play Sunday, 12:45 p.m., at Civic Arena.
The Fairfield Hotel & Suites by Marriott Lakers fell 2-0 to host Kelowna in Bantam A Female action Sunday at Memorial Arena.
n The Okanagan Rockets (6-6) will take on the Valley West Hawks (11-1-0) on Saturday (3 p.m.) and Sunday (10 a.m.) in Major Midget play at the Capital News Centre.
Okanagan is coming off a pair of home-ice losses to the Greater Vancouver Canadians.
On Saturday, the Canadians scored the winner on a power play with 1:30 left en route to a 6-4 victory.
Rayman Bassi, Ethan Schaeffer, Mitchell Gove and Ben King (Vernon) scored for the Rockets who fought back from a 4-2 deficit in third period before GVR won it with the late goal.
On Sunday, the Canadians (8-5-0-1) completed the sweep with a 4-2 win at CNC. Bassi and King scored the Rockets’ goals.
Vernon’s Scott Gilowski plays defence for the Rockets.