Midget Vipers tackle desert tourney

Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Vipers recorded a win and a loss on opening day of the Arizona Thanksgiving Shootout Friday in Phoenix.

The Vernon Home Building Centre Midget Tier 1 Vipers recorded a win and a loss on opening day of the Arizona Thanksgiving Shootout Friday in Phoenix.

Vernon grounded the AHSHA Premier Scorpions of Phoenix 5-3 Friday morning before falling 4-3 to Salt Lake City, Utah’s Regulators U16 AAA squad that afternoon.

Patrick Dove, assisted by Justin Mitchell, opened the scoring in the first period against the Scorpions.

A few minutes later, Mitchell circled from behind the net and ripped a shot top shelf to make it 2-0.

Braydon Sophonow added the Vipers’ lead before the Scorpions solved Vernon Tier 2 call-up netminder Bruin Stair with five minutes to go in the period.

Sophonow, assisted by Cody Hendrickson, made it 4-1 after 20 minutes, but the Scorpions rallied with two quick goals early in the second frame to pull within one.

Dennon Leibel buried the rebound off a Ryan Beach point shot to complete the scoring three minutes into the final period.

Jim Armstrong’s Vipers, who later watched the Canucks trounce the Coyotes 5-0 in NHL action Friday night at Jobing Arena, and met Coyotes’ captain Shane Doan after the game, fell behind the Regulators late in the first period and couldn’t recover.

Logan Geefs, assisted by Austin Krahn, scored late in the first period, but the Regulators restored the lead in the second.

Just 90 seconds later, a strong forecheck by Hendrickson followed by a feed to Sophonow resulted in a sharp-angle goal.

Salt Lake City took added two more goals before Hendrickson, assisted by Beach, rounded out the offence. Stair was outstanding in facing 38 shots.

Meanwhile, the Vernon Seed Orchard Sharks pounded the Winfield Bruins 7-0 in Pee Wee Super League action Friday night.

Game MVP Molly Crandlemire buried four goals for the Sharks, who got other offence from Hannah Scherck, Brittany Jackson and Brooke Berube.

Lexes Adams chipped in with two assists as did Erin Poland, Cathou Bauml and Chelsea McCaig.

Bailey Berndt earned the shutout.

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