Connor Johnson (right) of North Okanagan Legends Two sprints to the net with Max Power of North Okanagan Legends #1 in pursuit in Tyke lacrosse action Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.

Connor Johnson (right) of North Okanagan Legends Two sprints to the net with Max Power of North Okanagan Legends #1 in pursuit in Tyke lacrosse action Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.

Flames surprise Tigers with playoffs on horizon in Vernon

All that changed Wednesday at Kal Tire Place as the Flames whipped the Tigers 15-7 in South Okanagan’s final regular season game.

Kaid Macleod doesn’t remember.

Neither does coach Kevin Thompson.

League archives show no seasonal results but suffice to say, it’s been awhile – a long while – since the South Okanagan Flames beat the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League.

All that changed Wednesday at Kal Tire Place as the Flames whipped the Tigers 15-7 in South Okanagan’s final regular season game. The loss snapped Vernon’s 11-game winning, and 12-game unbeaten streak.

Macleod has been with the team five seasons, Thompson has been behind the bench for three and trainer and 2015 league MVP Chris Pond – who had his number retired by the Flames at the start of the season – played six years for the club. None of them remember a win over the Tigers.

“It’s a big win going into playoffs. A good momentum builder. Obviously they’re a great team and it feels good to beat them. They’re a strong team, have probably the best team defence in the league, well-coached and well-disciplined,” said Macleod, who torched the Tigers for 10 points on four goals and six assists. He had nine points (4+5) in South Okanagan’s 12-11 loss to the Tigers Saturday in Vernon.

The Flames, who trailed Saturday’s game 6-3 after 20 minutes, outscored the Tigers 21-13 over the final five periods of the back-to-back contests in Vernon.

South Okanagan jumped out to a 4-1 lead Wednesday after 20 minutes and increased the advantage to 10 goals, outscoring Vernon 9-2 in the middle frame for a 13-3 lead.

The Tigers scored four goals in the first five minutes of the third to pull to within six. Harrish had a gorgeous diving snipe.

The Flames scored four powerplay goals and three shorthanded markers.

Brad Stel – a former minor and junior goalie turned defender – donned the goaltending gear again for the Flames and earned second star status behind Macleod as he made 52 saves. The Tigers also hit eight posts behind Stel.

Starting goalie Charles Nicholas and Midget call-up Connor Ramage – who both played in Saturday’s loss – did not make the trip to Vernon.

Darnell Hauca started in goal for Vernon but was replaced by Jeremy Gray after the 12th Flames goal at 17:41 of the second period.

Quintin Harrish had three goals for the Tigers, who missed a chance to clinch first place Wednesday. Steele Pelletier scored twice and singles went to Sean Connors and Conor Webb.

“We came out a little flat-footed,” said Harrish. “We know they’re a good, tough team. It was just an all-around poor night by our team.”

The Flames – who finished at 10-5-1, best record in team history – moved into second place, one point ahead of Kamloops. The Venom, however, have two games left against the Armstrong Shamrocks Sunday and the Tigers.

Vernon (11-2-1) hosts the Kelowna Raiders (2-11-1) Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. The Tigers can again clinch first with a win Sunday or in their final home game Wednesday against the Venom.

The Shamrocks and Raiders played to a 6-6 tie Wednesday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in the Irish’s final home game.

Mykl Drabiuk’s goal with less than three minutes left gave the Shamrocks the single point and kept their playoff hopes alive.

Drabiuk and Marlon Forrest each had two goals for Armstrong, who fired 58 shots at Raiders goalie Tristan Parece, including 30 in the opening period, all of which Parece stopped.

Carter Olsen-Stiles and Nik Luttmerding had the other Shamrock goals.

Kelowna maintains a two-point lead on the Shamrocks (1-12-1) for the final playoff spot and the two teams will meet in the final game of the season Thursday in Kelowna.

Meanwhile, the Nicola Valley Thunder spoiled the North Okanagan Super 8 Legends’ Father’s Day finale Sunday at Kal Tire Place.

The Thunder intercepted a pass and scored on a breakaway with 1.4 seconds left to post a 5-4 win over the Legends in Thompson Okanagan Midget B Lacrosse League play Sunday afternoon, sweeping the Father’s Day twinbill.

Sam Knox, playing his final minor lacrosse game due to age, scored twice, including the equalizer with two minutes left, for the Legends, who led 3-1 going into the third period.

Drayden Harshenin –like Knox, an overager playing his last game – and Nathaniel Foster also tallied for the Legends, who dropped the opening game of their season-ending doubleheader, 6-4, Sunday morning.

Liam Cyr had two goals for North Okanagan while singles went to Amy Fox – the third overager playing her last minor game – and Harshenin.

The Legends played both games Sunday with only nine runners and goalie Troy Cuzzetto due to injuries and other commitments. Runner Macy Drabiuk re-injured her ankle in the first period of Game 1 and was lost for the day.

Knox had the only goal Saturday as North Okanagan fell 14-1 in Enderby to the Salmon Arm Outlaws.

The Legends finish league play with a record of 5-7 and were 8-14 overall.

The North Okanagan Fix Auto Legends #3 iced host Kamloops 12-3 in Novice play Sunday.

Aidan Wattie produced 4+1 for the Legends, while Kohen Pounder added 2+1 and Waylen Stowards also rang up a deuce. Additional goals came from David Calder, Mattias Roth, Kian Yargeau and Tyrell Palm in support of Taylor Robins-Swanson.

The Legends, who go into playoffs this weekend, held a 30-8 shot advantage.