The Vernon Home Building Centre
Tier 1 Vipers won three games, bought
$20 tickets for the Canucks-Coyotes
game, did some shopping and capped
the U.S. Thanksgiving weekend with
a poolside barbecue Sunday.
All in all, it was a fantasy hockey
trip to Phoenix the Vipers will treasure
for a long time.
Vernon finished the Arizona
Thanksgiving Midget Hockey
Shootout by stopping the U16 AAA
Phoenix Firebirds 5-3 in the consolation
final of the seven-team event.
Logan Geefs opened the scoring
after he was hit hard into the boards
and then got up and drained a pass
from Braydon Sophonow. The second
assist went to Cody Hendrickson.
The Firebirds tied it at 10:30
of the first on the powerplay, and
then a minute later, Vernon’s Austin
Garrington scored on a blast from the
point on the power play. Sophonow
and Hendrickson assisted.
The Firebirds equalized again
with four minutes gone in the second
period when the Vipers failed to
clear their zone. Austin Krahn scored
on the powerplay at 11:57 when he
snuck in from behind the goal to slide
the puck under the Firebird goalie’s
pads. Hendrickson assisted.
Hendrickson scored at 14:05 of
the third, with assists from Sophonow
and Geefs, to put the Vipers up 4-2.
With 7:23 left, Ryan Beach carried the
puck in and powered past a Firebirds’
d-man before passing to the goal
mouth for a tap in by Geefs. Krahn
Bruin Stair, pressed into emergency
service due to suspensions and
injuries to three other net detectives,
made a phenomenal glove save at
4:41 of the third before the Firebirds
pulled to within two when a shot
from the point went past the screened
After splitting their Friday games
(5-3 win over the Arizona Premier
Scorpions and a 4-3 loss to the Salt
Lake City U16 AAA Regulators) the
Vipers defeated the Arizona Hockey
Union Knights 4-1 Saturday afternoon.
After a scoreless first period,
Richard Meaney converted at 11:49
of the second period with a powerplay
goal. Ryley Booth earned the
Patrick Dove scored shorthanded
45 seconds later after Justin Mitchell
deftly split the defence and dished the
puck off to Dove.
With two minutes gone in the
third period, the Knights pulled with
one goal. Sophonow deflected a point
shot from Beach to restore the twogoal
lead midway through the period.
With seven minutes left and on
the powerplay, Dennon Leibel drove
to the net for a shot on goal and
Curtis Sexsmith drove in the rebound.
Vernon dominated the game and outshot
the Knights 45-18.
Despite going 2-1 in the roundrobin,
the Vipers did not advance to
the championship round due to three
teams having identical records.
Okanagan Mainline League play
resumes Saturday in Penticton when
the 1-5-3 Vipers face the 3-1-1
Okanagan Hockey School. Vernon
hosts the 1-2-4 Kamloops Jardine’s
Blazers Sunday (3 p.m.) at the Civic