Midget Vipers savour desert experience

The Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Tier 1 Vipers had a blast in Arizona. a poolside barbecue

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

also assisted.

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.

Krahn assisted.

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