The Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Vipers started their home tournament on a winning note with an exciting 3-2 win over the Chilliwack Bruins at Civic Arena Friday night.
Cody Hendrickson went top shelf in the first period, from Braydon Sophonow and Austin Krahn, to give the Tier 1 squad the lead. Patrick Dove hit the back of the net with a wrister, from game MVP Dennon Leibel, to make it 2-0 before the top-ranked Bruins cut the lead in half before the end of the first period.
Sophonow restored the two-goal cushion in the third frame with a seeing-eye shot from the slot, assisted by Austin Garrington and Hendrickson. The Bruins scored a powerplay marker with five minutes left to close the gap, and pulled their goalie to try to equalize, but Vipers’ netminder Max Brown was solid down the stretch.
The Vipers played Calgary and Seafair of Richmond in round-robin play Saturday. The semifinals of the six-team tourney are slated for 7:30 and 10 a.m. today, with the championship game scheduled for 3 p.m. at Civic.
Meanwhile, the North Okanagan Knights dropped their opening games at the Shoot to Thrill Atom Development Tournament Friday in Enderby, starting with an 11-2 loss to the Vernon H&L Glass Wolfpack.
Singles by Ben King, Eric Noren, assisted by King, and Lochlan O’Keefe had the Pack up by three at the end of the first period. King (from Noren) and Jaxxon Collard (from Rowen Miller) made it 5-0 in the second period before Mitchell Brown finally answered for the Knights, assisted by Alex Gilowski.
Brandon Matvenko added North Okanagan’s second goal at the 14-minute mark, assisted by Gilowski and Korden Haller, but the Wolfpack racked up another six goals in the third, with Noren and Miller each scoring twice, and O’Keefe and Kael Black each collecting singles.
Tyson Fairweather and Collard helped out with assists for Vernon. Caedon Bellmann and Easton Hunter shared goaltending duties for the Knights.
Cameron Moger and Gavin Fleck handled the offence as North Okanagan bowed 3-2 to the Kelowna Hurricanes in their second tilt.
Down by a pair, the Hurricanes rallied with three third-period goals for the win.
In other tournament action, the Williams Lake Timberwolves iced Clearwater 10-3, and the Abbotsford Hawks bounced South Okanagan 4-1.
In North Okanagan Pee Wee Super League play Friday night, Reece Hawthorne was stellar in net as the Butcher Boys Red Wings grounded the first-place Stevenson Mechanical Blues 3-0 at Priest Valley Arena.
Keefer Kaempf, Tyler Semeniuk and Colton Greeno scored for the Red Wings, who got strong outings from d-man Kayden Beauregard and forward Kendra Ostafie. D-man Riley Bos was game MVP for the Blues with awesome two-way hustle.