The Langley Eagles clipped the Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs 4-3 in overtime Thursday morning at Civic Arena to open the 44th Coca-Cola Pee Wee Invitational Hockey Tournament.
Nico Marini controlled a pass to the low slot from Kaden Maryschak in the corner and beat Vernon goalie Kobe Grant for the winner with 1:43 left in four-on-four overtime.
Brandon Santa Juana, with a deuce, and Landon Walter also scored for the Eagles, who earlier this season won a tournament in Phoenix. Former Vernon Viper star Curtis Fraser, who played pro hockey in Europe for several seasons, is an assistant coach with Langley.
Zachary Funk, Tysen Fairweather and Nick Teale replied for the Mustangs, who led 3-1 late in the second period.
“We’re kind of angry we let them back in, but we have to forget about this game and get ready for Spokane (Chiefs, tonight at 6:00),” said Mustang defenceman Cameron Moger.
Spokane was ambushed 12-2 by Seafair in other Thursday morning action.
Noah Boroditsky and Tyler Horstmann each pulled hat tricks for the Islanders, while Ethan Strik and Logan Nelson each bagged 1+2 and other goals came from Trevor Lau, Michael Abgrall, Carson Kostner and Bradley Araki-Young.
The Seattle Admirals are playing the Chilliwack Bruins in the noon game, while the Kelowna Rockets face the Bow Valley Flames of Calgary at 2:45 p.m.
Seafair plays Langley tonight at 8:00 with Vernon completing preliminary action Friday at 2:45 p.m. against Seafair.
The final in the eight-team classic goes Sunday at 5:30 p.m. Former NHLer Jerred Smithson is the keynote speaker at the tourney banquet Saturday night at the Best Western Vernon Lodge. A dance, featuring the Young ‘Uns, follows.