Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers, from left, Gavin Fleck, Jadon Foster and Tyson Sampert clutch the Okanagan Mainline Midget Tier 3 hockey playoff banner. (Photo Submitted)

Midgets off to West Van

Coca-Cola boys run record to 54-0

The Coca-Cola Vipers are in the B.C. Midget Tier 3 Hockey Championships, March 18-22, in West Vancouver.

Mason Robinson scored twice as the Vipers throttled the host Clearwater Ice Hawks 7-2 Saturday night at the North Thompson Sportsplex. Vernon swept the best-of-three Okanagan Mainline final series.

Russel Borrett, Dayton Bryan, Kevin Thomas-Walters, 20 seconds into the third period, Cole Johnson and captain Tyson Sampert also converted for the Coca-Cola crew, who improved to 54-0. Koltin Dodge went the distance in net, giving up goals to Colby Rhodes.

Vernon held period leads of 3-1 and 4-2 and enjoyed a handful of powerplays as Clearwater took 36 penalty minutes (two double minors for head contact) and had one player ejected. Vernon took 11 minor penalties.

Sampert kept the physical Ice Hawks in check allowing Vernon confidence to play their game by having a few chats with several Ice Hawks during the series. Vernon won the series opener 5-2 Friday night with Clearwater being assessed 47 penalty minutes, including six double-minor head contact infractions. One Ice Hawk coach was ejected for arguing with the referee.

“The boys have committed to our defensive responsibilities in playoffs and it’s shown in our stats,” said Vipers’ head coach Casey Sherriff. “Dodgey played excellent and our team feeds off of that. We got lots of offence from kids like Mason Robinson, KT Walters, Gavin Fleck, leadership from Ethan Joe, Dayton Bryan, Jacob Brewer, Cory Lazar and our sparkplug Lincoln Connor, and key faceoffs and penalty killing from Jacob Green. Not to mention our whole defence core played like warriors. It was a total team effort like it has been all year.”

The Vipers did multiple fundraising during the season and are requesting help from any businesses that can help with expenses for the provincials. Anyone able to help the team is urged to call manager Michelle Fleck at 1-778-212-2233.

In Atom B Rep play, the H&L Glass Jr. Vipers clipped host Summerland 4-3 Sunday with the line of Ollie Reid (1+2), Evan Kashuba (1G) and Jack Saxton (1G) providing five points.

William Heighway also scored for the Vipers, who are in the Valley playoff tournament this weekend in Osoyoos and Oliver.

The Watkin Motors Mustangs are in the B.C. Pee Wee Tier 2 Championships, Marc 17-22, at the North Shore Winter Club.

Erik Pastro produced 3+2 as the Mustangs mauled the host West Kelowna Warriors 8-2 Saturday to sweep the Okanagan final series.

“The boys came out to play,” said Vernon head coach Cosmo Wilson. “The entire team wanted this one. No one took a shift off and I’m very proud of the team.”

JJ Milne supplied 2+1, while McMillan (1+3), Kyle Wheeler and Marcel Greene added singles. Matthew Kuhnlein went the distance in net and the back end was rock solid.

“Matthew made some key saves when we needed them,” said Wilson.

Pastro pulled the hat trick as Watkin Motors rocked Civic Arena Friday night with a thrilling 6-5 victory.

Deagan McMillan added a deuce and Milne a single. D-men Cosmo Wilson and Ryder DeNys were stellar with two assists apiece.

“We came out with an early lead and Austin (Seibel) kept us in there with some big saves,” said Wilson. “Then the penalty troubles hit.” Mustangs weathered a late Warriors’ storm, with Pastro netting the winner with 6.7 seconds left.

In Atom B Rep play, the H&L Glass Jr. Vipers clipped host Summerland 4-3 Sunday with the line of Ollie Reid (1+2), Evan Kashuba (1G) and Jack Saxton (1G) providing five points.

William Heighway also scored for the Vipers, who are in the Valley playoff tournament this weekend in Osoyoos and Oliver.

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