Coke boys draw Thunder 3-3 in opener

Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers open home Midget Tier 3 hockey tournament with 4-4 draw against the Quesnel Thunder Friday night at Civic Arena.

Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers jumpstarted their home Midget Tier 3 hockey tournament with a 4-4 draw against the Quesnel Thunder Friday night at Civic Arena.

Quesnel opened the scoring midway through the first period, but Vernon replied just 27 seconds later when Hayden Chase was hauled down on a breakaway, only to convert on the ensuing penalty shot.

Conor Butte-Landsfried scored unassisted early in the second period, and Chase buried his second, assisted by Jack Pawsey and Conor Payne, to take a 3-1 lead.

Quesnel came out strong in the third period, scoring three unanswered goals to regain the lead. With 6:25 to play, the Coke boys’ Dustin Copeland collected the equalizer, with assists to Chase and Brandon Rysen.

Earlier games saw Chase grounding Mission 8-5, Winfield bouncing South Okanagan 8-6, and Smithers outgunning West Kelowna 5-1.

The North Okanagan Knights got off to a solid start in their Pee Wee tournament, gonging the Salmon Arm Silvertips 6-2 Friday.

Colby Jepson opened the scoring for Salmon Arm halfway through the first period, assisted by Jordan Fornier and Brayden Haskell. The Knights answered quickly on a blast by Ethan Maarhuis, assisted by Bryan Brew. Wesley Graves added another for the hosts on feeds from Matthew Dolinar and Brew.

Dolinar kept the Knights’ offence rolling in the second period, assisted by Graves, followed by a tally from Michael Kormany, the assist to Alex Gilowksi. The Tips’ cut the lead in half in the final minute of the period.

Third-period singles by North Okanagan’s Dylan Huber and Brandon Matvenko put the game out of reach. Assists went Gilowski (2) and Matvenko.

Caedon Bellmann collected the win.

The Vernon Rattlers started the North Okanagan tournament with a 3-3 draw against the Chase Broncos Friday.

Eric Noren opened Vernon’s account in the first period, assisted by Gavin Fleck.

The Rattlers went up 3-0 late in the second period on goals by Tanner Wright, assisted by Evan Trottier and Bryant Joseph, and Noren, assisted by Lucas Halverson and Fleck.

The Broncos finally got on the board in the final minute of period two, and salvaged the tie with two more goals in the third frame.

Caden Colmorgen was in net for Vernon.

In other tournament play, the Langley Eagles chopped the Kamloops Tomahawks 7-3, and the Vancouver Thunderbirds doubled the Prince George Cougars 4-2.