Goals came in spurts in Wednesday’s Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League game between rivals Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers and Armstrong Shamrocks.
It was a late spurt that propelled the Tigers to a 12-10 decision in front of 300 fans at Kal Tire Place.
The victory was Vernon’s fifth straight (6-1) and avenged the team’s only loss this season, an 11-9 setback to the Irish April 28 at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. Armstrong, playing its first league game since May 5, fell to 2-3-1.
“The first time we played them, we lost because it was early in the season and we weren’t really used to each other as we have a lot of new guys,” said Tigers sniper Jake Pelletier, who led all scorers with four on the night.
“Now, we’re coming together, have had quite a few practices and we’re starting to get the hang of things. We’re really bonding together and the streak is getting us going.”
The league-leading Tigers got off to a great start, taking a 4-1 lead into the second intermission, thanks to a pair of goals 76 seconds apart in the final three minutes.
With Vernon up 5-3, Armstrong took its first lead at 6-5 with three goals in 32 seconds with three minutes remaining in the middle frame. The Tigers, though, scored before the end of the period, sending the teams to the locker room tied 6-6.
Vernon took a 7-6 lead 22 seconds into the period on a powerplay marker, only to see the Shamrocks take an 8-7 edge with a pair of goals two minutes apart.
The Tigers regained the lead midway through the frame with two goals 11 seconds apart, and upped the advantage to 10-8 at 12:44.
A double-minor to Vernon forward Kolten Kirschner allowed Brayden Hoggarth of the Shamrocks to score twice with the man advantage, 27 seconds apart, to tie the contest.
Vernon got the winner from Pelletier at 16:08, and an insurance marker from Conor Webb at 19:44.
“It was a tough start, mostly we didn’t come out hard enough in the first period, for sure, we just got outworked,” said Shamrocks captain Marlon Forrest, who had 3+2.
“The fact it was our first game in three weeks might have been a factor (had a game against Kelowna Raiders cancelled due to lack of Kelowna players; team played the senior Shamrocks in a fun exhibition). We just weren’t ready to come out and compete.”
Hoggarth had 3+3 while Tyler Chartier, Ryan Sadorsky, Cameron Watson and Sam Hanley added singles.
Kyle Cuzzetto and Brett Olsen had three goals each for the Tigers while Steele Pelletier scored once before being ejected early in the third period with double 10-minute misconducts.
Darnell Hauca made 43 saves for the Tigers while Francois Leroux stopped 31 shots for Armstrong. Both goalies picked up an assist.
The Tigers wrap up a four-game homestand Saturday at 7:30 p.m. against the South Okanagan Flames (4-2-1) at Kal Tire Place, while the Shamrocks are in Kamloops to take on the Venom (3-2).
The Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League-leading Armstrong Shamrocks (3-0) host the 1-3 Kelowna Raiders tonight at 7:30 p.m. at the Nor-Val Sports Centre.
The Storage For Life #2 Legends grounded Kamloops #1 8-3 Sunday in the North Okanagan Novice lacrosse tournament final at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Kohl Hendrickson, Kian Yargeau and Kohen Pounder each rang up deuces for the Legends, who got singles from Waylen Stowards and Teigan Kelley. Alex Hart had two helpers in support of Brayden Rypkema, who faced 71 shots and let in just 13 all weekend.
The Legends finished 5-0 in their home tourney, getting a hat trick from Pounder in a 9-2 win over Kamloops #2 in their opener. Yargeau and Kelley added two goals apiece, while Stowards and Hendrickson supplied singles.
Hendrickson pulled the hat trick as the Legends ran to a 10-4 rout of Kamloops #1, while Pounder provided three snipes in a 6-2 win over Salmon Arm and counted two in a 5-2 victory over Salmon Arm.