Morning Star Staff
It was more like a friendly exhibition game rather than a heated playoff battle.
The Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers took a 17-5 win over the Armstrong Shamrocks in stride Tuesday night at Kal Tire Place, trying not to look ahead to the next round.
Game two in the best-of-five Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League semifinal series went Thursday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre, while the third game is Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Kal Tire Place.
The second-place Kamloops Venom stopped the visiting South Okanagan Flames 9-5 Tuesday night at Memorial Arena in that series opener.
“It wasn’t too intense out there,” said Vernon 20-year-old veteran Jordan Orr, who earned first star with 3+1. “Armstrong only had 13 runners so it was pretty loose. We have to stay focused on this series and not worry about Kamloops or Penticton.”
It was 7-0 Vernon after one period and 12-3 Tigers after two.
Jake Pelletier pocketed 2+3, while Thomas Landels (third star) and Kyle Cuzzetto each registered 2+2 for the league champion Tigers.
Jordy Barr produced 2+1, Brett Olsen (second star) had 1+3, while Quintin Harrish and Chris Inscho each supplied 1+2 and Connor Webb, Liam Macphee and Sean Connors had the other Vernon goals.
Orr said the Tigers’ long bench should carry them a long way in the post-season.
“Basically, you can go out there with anybody and have a good shift; we have lots of depth.”
Cam Watson rang up 2+1 to lead fourth-place Armstrong, who also got snipes from Mykl Drabiuk, Nik Luttmerding and Chase Bronson.
Leroux stopped 42 shots as Vernon outshot Armstrong 59-40. Darnell Hauca played the first 40 minutes in goal for the Tigers and made 24 saves, including 16 in the second period, while Jeremy Gray played the third period and recorded 11 saves.
Armstrong scored twice on the powerplay, Vernon once.
The Tigers scored two goals five seconds apart in both the first and second periods, and two goals six seconds apart in the third.
Riley Peterson bagged two goals and four points as Kamloops dusted off the Flames 9-5 Tuesday night. Game 2 went Thursday night in Oliver with Game 3 back in Kamloops Saturday.
Also tallying points for the Venom were Kyle Pauwels (2+1), Anthony Matusiak (2+1), Bowen Stauffer (2G), and Tylor Seabrooke Dalan Etter made 34 saves and had one assist as Kamloops outshot South Okanagan 52-39.