Logan Imrich of the Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers strips the puck from Haydn Sitler of the Nanaimo Clippers in front of the Vipers’ net in the Midget Tier 3 hockey tournament Saturday at the Civic Arena. Vernon won 8-1.

Logan Imrich of the Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers strips the puck from Haydn Sitler of the Nanaimo Clippers in front of the Vipers’ net in the Midget Tier 3 hockey tournament Saturday at the Civic Arena. Vernon won 8-1.

Coke crew claim home tourney title

The Vernon Coca Cola Vipers shaded the North Delta Sun Devils 4-3 in Sunday’s final of their home tournament at Civic Arena.

  • Jan. 29, 2014 11:00 a.m.

Morning Star Staff

The Vernon Coca Cola Vipers shaded the North Delta Sun Devils 4-3 in Sunday’s final of their Vernon Winter Tier 2 Hockey Classic at Civic Arena.

Down by two, the Vipers clawed back to equalize in the third on goals from Brendan Zupp and Carl Main. Goaltender Tristan Quiring made an uncharacteristic clear directly to a North Delta player who buried it for the go-ahead snipe.

Main pulled the Vipers even with six minutes remaining. The clock wound down and with the crowd screaming “shoot”, Eamonn Miller ripped a shot from the goal line that found its way between the goalie’s pad and the post with 1.5 seconds remaining. Kaden Black produced three helpers.

“That was a bizarre goal,” said Vernon head coach Larry Black. “He might have even been deeper than the goal line.”

Quiring fed Black, who passed to Miller for a goal two minutes into overtime as the Vipers clipped the Winfield Bruins 5-4 in Sunday morning’s semifinals.

It was a back and forth battle leaving Vernon down by one late in the third. With the goalie pulled, call-up Bryce Pyle levelled the score with 22 seconds to play, forcing OT.

Black and Miller each scored twice with Logan Imrich drawing two assists.

“We’ve instilled a culture in our team whereby everybody is playing for everybody else and it seems to be working,” said coach Black. “The kids just kept working hard for one another all weekend and were rewarded.”

Quiring was summoned by the KIJHL Sicamous Eagles Friday night and went the distance in a 6-5 overtime win over the Revelstoke Grizzlies. He started and played half the game in the Eagles’ 5-3 loss Saturday to the 100 Mile House Wranglers.

The Coke boys, who were without regulars Jack Pawsey, Easton Jones and Hayden Chase, quickly recovered from Friday’s opening loss and grounded the Nanaimo Clippers 8-1 Saturday morning behind Miller’s hat trick.

Josh DeCoffe, with a deuce, Logan Revell, Braden Gilowski and call-up Brian Ferguson each supplied singles in front of affiliate Jared Larsen. Main rung up three assists, while Pyle, Jarrett Campbell and Imrich each had two.

Black bagged four goals as the Coke boys then ambushed Victoria 8-1.

Zupp pocketed a pair, while Main and Imrich added singles in front of Louis Springer. Miller and Cameron Hitch each posted two helpers.

The Sladen Moore Bantam A Female Lakers tied the Prince George Cougars 2-2 in their last regular-season game Saturday at Kal Tire Place.

Andie Kaneda scored on a scramble 15 seconds in with Jenna Fletcher and Abbey Magnus picking up assists. The Cougars answered back and it remained 1-1 at the break.

Samantha Head made a move like Jagger and went top shelf to regain the lead, assists going to Makenna Hoffman and Juli Gilowski.

The Cougars equalized and a tight-checking third period did not decide anything. The Lakers (6-4-2) ended up tied for second and a likely first-round playoff date with Kelowna.

The Lakers and the Salmon Arm Midget Silveripts, who have a large group of former Lakers (Bailey Berndt, Cassidy Marshall, Cailee Bauml, Chelsea Marshall, Taylor Vandale and Chelsea McCaig) faced off in an intense exhibition game Sunday with the Tips winning 3-2.

Sisters Chelsea and Julia McCaig (current Vernon Laker) were on opposite sides at the Shaw Centre.

Bauml opened the scoring six minutes in for the Tips, with Vernon product Jenna Lazar and Maddy Turner drawing assists.

Turner, from Bauml and Lazar, made it 2-0 before Head jumped on an Emily Clarke dump in and a misplayed puck from Tips’ goalie Berndt for the Lakers’ first snipe.

Salmon Arm regained their two-goal lead when Marshall scored on a scramble, the assist going to Vandale. With five minutes left, the Lakers pressed hard with Head’s wrap-around attempt leaving the puck on the goal line for Gilowski to tap in, the other assist going to Kaneda.

Tiera Joseph had a super game in the Lakers’ net, keeping the score close. The Lakers are in the Surrey Super Hearts Tournament this weekend.