Salmon Arm Warriors' Stephen Kooistra (#15) helps netminder Adam New protect the crease as Lucas Colgan and Nik Wasylyk of Denny's Saints drive the net in the Bantam Super League playoff final Monday at Civic Arena.

Salmon Arm Warriors' Stephen Kooistra (#15) helps netminder Adam New protect the crease as Lucas Colgan and Nik Wasylyk of Denny's Saints drive the net in the Bantam Super League playoff final Monday at Civic Arena.

Gallant goes big for Saints

Centre Chris Gallant pulled the hat trick as the Denny’s Saints of Vernon stuffed the Salmon Arm Finch & Co. Warriors 10-2 in the North Okanagan Bantam Super Hockey League playoff final Monday night at Civic Arena.

Gallant also set up Cameron Sawden for a gorgeous one-timer, while Marshall Box added two goals for the Saints, who also won the regular-season banner.

“Our boys were not going to be denied,” said Saints’ head coach Kevin Mitchell, assisted by Steve Cousins and Rob Maxwell. “Every one of them played like it was their last shift of hockey. They went hard in practice all year and were rewarded with success.

“Chris and our captain Layne Greene (1+3) set a torrid pace early and Salmon Arm couldn’t match our speed, talent and determination.”

Kristian Currie, with 1+3, third star Nik Wasylyk and Lucas Colgan also scored for the Saints, who held period leads of 3-0 and 7-1.

Jeremy Dewick and Cameron Graham replied for the third-place Warriors, who  late in the regular season rallied to tie Denny’s 4-4.

Saints’ net detective Kyle Dennis didn’t face many shots, but recorded a handful of spectacular saves, including one splendid breakaway save.

Greene anchored a stellar defensive core alongside Taylor Maxwell, Mitchell Cousins and Max Mitchell.

Forwards Josh Lerbeck (2A) and Marcus Finn supplied clutch two-way efforts.

The Saints, who finished the year at 25-3-2, including two tournaments, rallied to stop the second-place DCT Chambers Red Bulls 6-3 in semifinal action Sunday at Civic.

Currie counted 3+1 for Denny’s, while Gallant added two goals and Colgan one. Brett Shaigec, Parker Gray and Danielle Butler replied for the Red Bulls, who led 2-0 for most of the first period.

The Vernon Talon Benefits Titans claimed the North Okanagan Midget Super League title with an exciting 5-4 comeback win over the host Lumby Stars Monday night.

The Titans secured an initial home-ice advantage in the knock-out elimination rounds by brushing aside the Salmon Arm Aftershock 10-1 in their last round-robin playoff game.

The Titans then dispatched the Vernon Broad Street Bullies 11-0 in the quarterfinals before defeating a very tough Winfield Bruins team 4-3 in double overtime in the semis.

“As expected, the final against Lumby was a fast-paced, intense affair in which speed, total team effort and relentless pressure on the puck eventually turned the tide in the Titans’ favour,” said Talon Benefits’ head coach Kevin Murphy.

After taking the early lead on a goal by Krister Work, the Titans found themselves behind 4-1 nearing the midpoint of the game.

However, goalies Zoran Bos and Evan Campagnolo refused to fold and the Titans’ ability to quickly move the puck up the ice and around the Stars’ end gradually turned things around.

Timely goals by Troy Richardson, Garrett Dansereau and Adam Michelin then set the stage for a heart-stopping final seven minutes with Mark Francis sealing the deal with 84 seconds to go.

“As was the case througout the playoffs, our defensive trio of Brodie Homeniuk, Austin Lewarne and Quin Finocchio made it almost impossible for the Lumby forwards to break through to our net, while centres Hayden Jones, Yanik Fillion-Murphy and Hayden Grant, continually set up their wingers for dangerous scoring opportunities.

“Finally, winger Gavin Opp set the tone for the entire team with his fearless two-way effort all over the ice.”

The Titan coaches were most satisfied with how every player, over the season, learned how to harness their own “will” and then used this “fierce passionate determination that cannot be turned aside” to find ways to bounce back and prevail in all types of game situations.

“We also enjoyed the positive camaraderie that the players developed over the course of the season and thank them for making it a lot of fun to coach this year,” said Murphy.

In B side semifinal playoff action, the Vernon Battery Seagulls bowed 7-6 to the Winfield Bruins Sunday at Priest Valley Arena.

Sean Connors, with 2+1, Ward Mercer, Tyson Clark, Brett Vandale and Clifford High scored for the Gulls, who swarmed the Winfield net with an extra attacker in the final minute.

“Our last game was typical of our season,” said Gulls’ head coach Dan Wilson. “We were carrying the play; we just ran out of time. ‘Til next season.”

The Gulls tied the Vernon Seed Orchard Ducks 4-4 Saturday in round-robin play at Civic.

The Ducks jumped out to a 4-0 lead on goals by Cody Hounslow (2), Nick Gallant and Hayden Pasacreta, but the Gulls found their fancy touch and registered four goals – two each by High and Vandale – in the third.

Luke Vandale and Rodger Sewell were solid in net for the Gulls.

Ducks’ goalie Travis Hoy flashed a lot of leather and was brilliant in net, making many spectacular saves in front of a boisterous crowd.