The Vernon Source For Sports Sun Valley Bantam Tier 2 Vipers split a pair of exhibition Okanagan Mainline Hockey Association games last weekend with the Kelowna Rockets.
It was a defensive battle with the Rockets winning 3-2 on a snipe with 2:18 remaining. Vernon opened the scoring when Nick Noren buried a rebound off a Jayden Attwood point shot. Kelowna responded a minute later. Kellen Mooney was strong in net for Sun Valley.
Game 2 early Sunday morning in Rutland saw Vernon respond with a 4-2 win.
Kelowna pocketed the first goal near the end of the first period, but Vernon near the midway flood when Tyler Burke buried a feed from Bennett Kuhnlein. Noren picked up the second assist.
Tied at the break, Kuhnlein deflected a Brayden Schwarzle point shot to make it 2-1 Vipers. Colten Flemming followed up with an exhilarating end-to-end rush resulting in Vernon’s third goal.
Kelowna drew within one early in the third, but Vernon responded when Kuhnlein took a feed from Noren and rushed up the ice with a nifty feed to Burke for the sweet finish. Vernon capped the scoring when Kuhnlein won an offensive zone draw to feed Noren, who went wide on the goalie and buried a backhand. Mathew Kuhnlein was strong in net, turning aside several late pushes by the Rockets.
In Atom Tier 1 Rep pre-season action, the Vernon Jr. Vipers outlasted West Kelowna Jr. Warriors 7-6 Sunday at Priest Valley Arena.
Jack Saxton pulled the hat trick, while linemate Ollie Reid supplied 2+3 and singles went to Mathis Paull and Landon Grant. French import Alex Houle garnered two assists in front of Calder Barry.