The Vernon Fix Auto Vipers took the long and winding tourist route to the final of their home Bantam Tier 3 hockey tournament, falling 10-3 to the Quesnel Thunder Sunday afternoon at Civic Arena.
The Vipers won four games in less than 24 hours to reach the championship game, where they got snipes from Joe Eggert and Mason McLennan.
After going 2-1 to open the seven-team tourney, the Fix Auto crew stunned the Merritt Centennials 5-1 Saturday afternoon and then iced the West Kelowna Warriors 5-3 later that night.
Nick Cherkowski pulled the hat trick and Brennan Schwark scored twice versus the Cents with Ethan Huizinga stopping 34 shots.
Dex Elders, with a deuce, Liam Hennig, Schwark and Mika Burns handled the Viper attack with Jayden Jensen making 32 saves and Brayden Jones earning two helpers.
The Vipers then got up early Sunday and surprised the Penticton Vees 6-1 with Elders ringing up the hat trick and singles going to Jones, Schwark and Cherkowksi. Sam Eggert pocketed two assists.
Said Linc Dougan, co-coach with Matt Rysen: “Our team clawed its way through the back door of to end up in the semis with Penticton. It had been our only loss this weekend (6-2) but we knew they were a beatable team.”
The Sladen Moore Lakers were red-hot at 3-1 in the Penticton Bantam A Female Fire on Ice Hockey Tournament, bowing 7-5 to the Kelowna Midget A’s in Sunday’s final.
Down 2-0 in the first period, captain Andie Kaneda blocked a point shot and took it the other way for Vernon’s opening goal.
Kelowna quickly regained a two-goal lead when Kaneda blocked a second point shot, and with a gorgeous solo effort on a forehand, backhand, converted again.
Jenna Fletcher scored twice and Emily Williams once as the teams traded goals. It was 5-5 until the Lakers took two penalties late in the third and Kelowna bagged two snipes.
Tiera Joseph recorded 25 saves as the Lakers iced the A’s 3-0 in their opener. Kaneda, with 2+1, and Fletcher handled the offence.
Vernon then grounded Penticton 5-2 with Kaneda pulling the hat trick and Emily Clarke pocketing a deuce. Samantha Head and Juli Gilowski each supplied two assists.
The Lakers got some great defensive zone play from call-up Anne Cherkowski and Julia McCaig, while receiving tenacious forechecking from Carly Southam, Abbey Magnus and Williams.
Later Saturday afternoon, the Sladen Moore crew gonged Kelowna Bantam A’s 6-1 behind 3+2 from Head and 1+2 from Kaneda.
Clarke and Fletcher added singles, while Magnus counted a pair of helpers.
The Lakers return to action Sunday, Dec. 29 in a 2 p.m. exhibition game versus the Salmon Arm Armstrong Co-op Midget Tier 1 Silvertips.
The Silvertips tied host Kamloops 1-1 in league play Saturday. Jenna Lazar (Vernon) scored for the Tips, assists going to Vernon products Cailee Brauml and Hanna Scherck.
Salmon Arm (5-1-1) takes on the Kamloops Mystix Saturday, 1:30 p.m., at Civic Arena.
The Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers edged the North Kamloops Lions 4-3 in Midget Tier 1 league action Sunday at Memorial Arena.
Jeff Bochon rushed down ice and passed to Jordan Rea, who buried the Vipers’ opening strike.
Cole Woodliffe scored from Nick Higgs and Mitch Lukacs then Woodliffe set up Jagger Williamson for the third goal. Bochon netted the eventual winner, unassisted.
Josh Evans faced 36 shots in the win, giving up the third goal with two seconds left and the Blazers playing with six attackers.
The Sun Valley Source for Sports Tier 1 Bantam Vipers grounded West Kelowna 6-2 Saturday at Priest Valley Arena.
Matt Kowalski provided 2+1, while Dawson Chase, Stephane Richard, Powell Connor and Riley Swiscoski each popped in a goal in support of Kieran Watts.
The Coca-Cola Vipers lost 8-1 to the Kelowna Rockets in Midget Tier 2 league play Saturday at Kal Tire Place. Eamonn Miller scored for the Coke crew, from Cameron Hitch and Michael LeNoury.
The Watkin Motors Tier 1 Pee Wee Vipers battled the Tier 2 Kelowna Rockets to a 4-4 exhibition tie Sunday at PV Arena.
The Rockets equalized with 32 seconds remaining after pulling their goalie while Vernon was shorthanded. Miller supplied 3+1, while Trevor Kennedy counted 1+2 and Ben King earned three assists.
The Nixon Wenger Tier 2 Pee Wee Vipers lost 6-3 and 7-3 to the Trail Smoke Eaters in league play at Cominco Arena.
Cole Johnson scored once and set up Tanner Wright for Vernon’s offence in front of Tanner Witt and Dalton Stenberg, who both made some spectacular saves.
The Vipers battled hard Sunday and held the bigger Smokies to 3-3 early into the third until getting into penalty trouble.
Jacob Green buried a slap shot from the slot to open up the attack with Johnson and Gavin Medema finishing off the scoring.
The North Okanagan Tier 4 Pee Wee Knights smothered the Summerland Jets 10-2 and ambushed the North Kamloops Lions 10-0 in league play.
Kord Haller collected 2+3, while Michael Kormany added 2+1 against the Jets. Alex Gilowski, Dylan Huber, Kevin Thomas-Walters, Bryan Brew and call-ups Warren Buzzell and Gage Ostoforoff supplied singles in front of Thomas Burton.
Thomas-Walters rung up 3+1, while Huber, Kormany and Brew each bagged 2+2 in support of Caedon Bellmann in Sunday’s win. Gilowski (2) and Haller completed the offence.