The Vernon Tigers travelled down Highway 97 to Rutland and fell to 0-4, losing 9-4 to the first-place Kelowna Raiders in Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League play.
The Tigers gave a very strong defensive effort despite giving up nine goals.
“After three games, the expansion Tigers are starting to gel as a team and are heading in the right direction,” said coach James Hurst.
After the first period the Tigers trailed 2-0 holding the top team scoreless for most of the frame.
The second period was very strong for the tigers although they struggled to find the back of the net. Some very solid defensive play from Mac Leroux and Travis Mann held the Raiders to many contested shots. Shawn Maltman had a monster game with multiple huge punishing hits through the middle.
The Tigers goals came from Craig Bigsby, on a outside shot on the powerplay, and Ryan Sarazin on a breakaway where he outran the defence.
The third period saw the Tigers find themselves in a little bit of penalty trouble. Kelowna had four powerplay goals in the game. Sarazin had another outside snipe and there was a wacky goal where Brennan Plante took a shot that got deflected off two defenders’ sticks, then bounced off Kris Yargeau’s chest and into the net.
Vernon goalie Josh Point kept the Tigers alive with a 50-save performance.
The Tigers next game is at home Friday, May 24, at Kal Tire Place, 8 p.m., with a rematch against the Raiders.