Mustangs seal semifinal spot

Midgets’ 54-win streak snapped

The Vernon Watkin Motors are undefeated through three games at the B.C. Pee Wee Tier 2 Hockey Championships in North Vancouver.

JJ Milne supplied four goals as the Mustangs ambushed the Prince George Cougars 10-0 this morning, while Erik Pastro added a deuce and singles came from Zac Casagrande, Logan Killingbeck, captain Cosmo Wilson and Theo Van Wyk. Vernon outshot Prince George 41-13 with Austin Seibel earning the win.

The Mustangs opened the tournament with a 3-3 tie against North Shore Winter Club Winterhawks Sunday. JJ Milne paced the Mustangs with a pair of goals, while Kyle Wheeler added a single. Pastro pocketed three assists, while Deagan McMillan registered a pair. Matthew Kuhnlein went the distance in net.

“Matthew made some key saves and kept us in the game,” said Vernon head coach Taylor Wilson. “We controlled a lot of the game but weren’t attacking the net.”

The Mustangs bounced back on Monday with a 9-2 shellacking of the Fort St. John Flyers. McMillan notched 3+1, while Logan Killingbeck added 2+2, Jacob Green compiled 2+1 and Wheeler rang up 1+2. Riley Cormier scored once in support of Seibel. Pastro, JJ Milne and Zach Milne each provided two helpers.

“We need to play a ‘We’ game in order to be successful at provincials,” said Wilson. “I hope the kids got the memo.”

The Mustangs faces Cranbrook (2-1) today at 5 p.m. and are guaranteed a spot in Wednesday semifinal play win or lose. The championship final also goes Wednesday.

Meanwhile, the Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers had their 54-game winning streak snapped at the B.C. Midget Tier 3 tournament in West Vancouver.

The Snakes were smothered 6-1 by the Squamish Eagles in their Sunday opener before rebounding with a 4-0 win over the Castlegar Rebels Monday.

Kevin Thomas Walters had the Vernon goal versus Squamish, while Gavin Fleck (2), Cory Lazar and Russel Borrett converted against the Rebels. Koltin Dodge was in net for both games. Vernon counted three powerplay goals in the win.

The Vipers and Powell River tied 2-2 in a Tuesday matinee. Lincoln Connor and Lazar contributed the Vernon goals in front of Dodge.

Isaiah Brach and Cameron McNeil counted goals 84 seconds apart in the second stanza for Powell River. Lazar equalized at 4:57 of the third frame.

The Vipers lost key forward Mason Robinson with a check-from-behind minor and ejection 63 seconds after the opening face-off. Powell River took a pair of head contact minors.

Vernon (1-1-1) is behind three teams and needs Squamish to lose to winless Castlegar later this afternoon to reach the semifinals.

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