The Vernon Re/Max Tigers used a natural hat trick from Braden Barr to salvage a 5-5 draw with the Armstrong Shamrocks in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Playing the opening game of Armstrong’s annual Lacrosse Night in Lacrosseville doubleheader, the baby Rocks came out flying, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead. Goals came from Willy Hanley, firing a low shot, Milan Marcetta, with a laser into the top right corner, and Owen Barker, who intercepted an outlet pass on the goal crease and threw the ball into an empty net.
Armstrong then fell into penalty trouble and Barr made them pay, scoring three straight goals, including a buzzer beater, to end the first period 3-3.
“We knew Vernon was going to be hungry for a win after a few losses, and we had our chances but we have to give them credit for hustling for loose balls and controlling the ball in the second period,” said Shamrocks’ assistant coach Ryan Nitchie.
Despite being outplayed in the second period, the Shamrocks (5-3-2) managed to keep the game tied on a nice outside shot by Joel Castle.
Jay Seaton, with his first of the season, answered for the Tigers to keep the score deadlocked after two periods.
The Tigers (3-4-1) took the lead in the third period on a goal by Midget call-up sniper Jordan Orr, but Marcetta ripped a hard point shot past netminder Tyler Landry in the dying minutes to equalize.
Landry, who plays first-year Midget, didn’t disappoint in his first start for the Tigers, and was exceptional in the third period when the Shamrocks’ offence threatened to take over the game.
“He tightened up his game after the (first) three goals and was outstanding,” said Vernon head coach Myles Brumpton, likening the Vernon keeper to a young Brodie MacDonald.
Added Brumton: “Disappointed we only walked away with a tie, but we’ll take the point. We closed some holes in our game. I’m proud of the boys for how they played defensively.”
He also credited assistant coach Dave McWhirter for revamping the Tiger offence, and had praise for Darren Kirby, calling the Tiger veteran a “floor general” in his season debut.
The Tigers hosted the 3-4 South Okanagan Flames Saturday night, and Armstrong is in Kamloops tonight (7 p.m.) to face the 2-7 Rattlers.
Meanwhile, the North Okanagan Butcher Boys Legends got a buzzer-beater from Liam Drabiuk with 2.7 seconds remaining as they iced the Kamloops Rattlers 7-6 in Midget A2 lacrosse action Thursday night.
The Legends’ Jordan Orr, who assisted on Drabiuk’s winner, sniped a shoot past the Kamloops goalie, assisted by Jonathan Grant and Jake Thomson, to open the scoring, but the Rattlers answered with two of their own.
Orr scored again while flat on the floor as the Rattler goalie never saw the ball trickle past him.
Kamloops answered once more to end the first period with a 3-2 lead.
The second frame saw Kamloops earn a two-goal cushion before Liam Drabiuk and Mitchell Anderson drew singles for North Okanagan, assists to Dustin Copeland and Sean Connors.
Kamloops jumped ahead again in the third, but Ryan Sarazin pulled the Legends even.
The Rattlers staked another lead, only to watch the Legends’ Mike Hanley answer yet again, assisted by Conor Payne.