Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers' Braden Gilowski breaks away with the puck while another puck surfaces on the ice in Okanagan Mainline Midget Tier 2 hockey league play against the Merritt Centennials Sunday at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers' Braden Gilowski breaks away with the puck while another puck surfaces on the ice in Okanagan Mainline Midget Tier 2 hockey league play against the Merritt Centennials Sunday at Kal Tire Place.

Pee Wee Mustangs claim title

The Watkin Motors Jr. Vipers won the Battle in the Barn Hockey tournament Sunday with a 4-1 win over North Vancouver.

The Watkin Motors Vipers won the Battle in the Barn Penticton Pee Wee Tier 1 Hockey tournament Sunday with a 4-1 win over North Vancouver.

The first period was scoreless and the fast-paced final saw Viper netminder Tyler Sedlacek deflect numerous shots as the Vipers were shorthanded most of the game.

At the seven-minute mark of the second, Rowan Miller came out of the penalty box, was fed by Ben King, and deposited a breakaway shot over the goalie’s shoulder at Memorial Arena.

On the same shift, Miller buried the winner off a Lucas Zubrod rebound.  The third goal saw Gavin Fleck rip a low slapper after crisp assists from Miller and Lucas Wood.  The fourth goal was a hard snapper, top shelf, from King, off a Tanner Brown pass.

The Vipers reached the final by edging Burnaby Minor 2-1 Saturday night at McLaren Arena. First Viper to score was Lachlan O’Keefe, in the the high slot off a Coletyn Boyarski pass from down low.  The winning goal was credited to Eric Noren, assisted by Trevor Kennedy after a mad scramble.

Watkin Motors – named Most Sportsmanlike Team –  grounded the West Kelowna Warriors 4-1 Saturday afternoon at Memorial with Brown converting a wrister from the blueline off a pass from dee partner Wood.

O’Keefe went to the high slot and scored off a Kennedy pass. Miller redirected Scott Gilowski’s shot from the point and Boyarski buried a Ben King feed.

Vernon goalies Sedlacek and Kobe Grant were marvelous, getting stellar support from d-men Lee Christensen, Anne Cherkowski and Cameron Moger. Forward Cory Lazar supplied strong two-way pressure.

Home Building Centre take two shootout wins

Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers finished the Prince George Coast Inn of the North Cougars Midget Tier 1 tournament by losing 8-4 to eventual champion Cougars, icing Surrey 8-7 in a shootout and shading Richmond 4-3 in a shootout.

Carson Tucker opened the scoring against the Cougars on a pass from Carson Richards.  Jagger Williamson then scored from Cole Woodliffe and Griffin Fried. Vernon’s last two goals were on the powerplay by Lee Springer, from Jordan Rea and Jeff Bochon, assisted by Woodliffe.

Prince George iced Kelowna Fripps Warehouse Rockets 6-4 for their fourth tournament win in a row.

Woodliffe scored the shootout winner versus Surrey with Josh Evans standing tall in the Vernon net with no goals against.

Rea opened the scoring in the opening minute with assists to Richards and Bochon. Bochon then scored on the power play from Layne Greene and Woodliffe.

Rea then scored  shorthanded, unassisted followed by a powerplay tally by Williamson, assisted by Greene. Bochon connected for his second of the game, unassisted, and Richards clicked, shorthanded, from Jack Pawsey (summoned from the Tier 2 Coca-Cola Vipers).

Bochon rounded out his hat trick in the third period with assists to Richards and Rea. Woodliffe scored the shootout winner with Evans standing tall in the Vernon net and allowing no goals in the shootout.

Williamson scored all the goals against Richmond, getting one in each period of regulation.  He potted the shootout winner by drawing the goalie out and finding the open net. Goalie Austin Goss closed the door for Vernon in the shootout.

The Sun Valley Source for Sports Bantam Tier 1 Vipers smothered the Salmon Arm SilverTips 16-0 in exhibition action Saturday in Sicamous.

Connor Johnstone pocketed four snipes, while Matt Kowalski provided 2+5 and Brady Marzocco produced 2+3. Coleton Bilodeau counted 2+2, Owen Beliveau had 2+1, Dawson Chase and Dylan Sedlacek each added 1+3 and Reed Cashato and Riley Swiscoski 1+2.

The Coca-Cola Midget Tier 2 Vipers shelled the Winfield Bruins 10-4 and iced the Merritt Centennials 5-0 in home games.

Jarett Campbell pocketed 3+1 and Eamonn Miller supplied 2+4 Saturday at Priest Valley Arena. Gabe Turner, with 1+2, Julian Darkanzanli, Bryce Pyle, Kaden Black and Logan Revell completed the Coke attack. Josh Decoffe counted two helpers.

Merritt showed up with nine skaters and one goalie but played a physical style which forced Vernon to work extra hard for the shutout. Brenden Zupp (2), Black, Hitch and Logan Imrich had goals and Miller earned two assists in support of Tristan Quiring.

The Nixon Wenger Pee Wee Tier 2 Vipers bowed 4-2 to the South Okanagan Hornets Saturday at the Desert Bowl in Osoyoos and then blasted the Penticton Jr. Tier 3 Vees 9-3 Sunday at Civic Arena.

Vernon’s offence in Osoyoos came from Lincoln Connor and Tysen Fairweather with assists to Cole Johnson and Kael Black.

Connor Seehaver pulled the hat trick versus the Vees with Ben Imrich and Johnson both bagging a deuce. Singles came from Tanner Wright and Nick Teale. Gavin Medema earned two assists. Goaltending was split between Dalton Stenberg and Tanner Witt.

Bantam Tier 2 Vipers brush back Kamloops

The Fix Auto Bantam Tier 2 Vipers edged Kamloops 4-3 Saturday at Kal Tire Place.

“The boys got banged up pretty good so we had a short bench due to injuries in the second, but they never quit,” said Vernon co-coach Matt Rysen, helped by Linc Dougan.

Nick Cherkowski and Lucas Halvorson assisted on a Dex Elders’ snap shot early in the first period. Cherkowski’s second assist, with help from Mika Burns, helped Joe Eggert fire a wrister, top cheese, in the second period.

Captain Sam Eggert, a d-man, played forward during a power play and netted a goal from brother Joe and Burns to end the second period. The third-period clincher came off a point blast by Mason McLennan, assisted by Dex Elders and Brayden Jones. Ethan Huizinga was solid in stopping 27 shots.

The shortstaffed Sladen Moore Bantam A Female Lakers finished 1-3 at the Kamloops Invitational.

Goalie Marika Munroe and sniper Mairyn Tucker were out with injuries, while Halle Higgins Wilson and Emily Williams couldn’t make the tournament.

The Lakers still went hard and suffered three tough losses – 2-1 to Tri-Cities in a heated penalty-filled game, 3-2 to Prince George and 3-1 to Castlegar in another penalty-infested tilt.

The Lakers lost Julia McCaig to injury in game three, but rallied with strong defensive play to stay in every game. Captain Andie Kaneda scored in all four games (Lakers beat Kelowna Friday).

Knights fall to Bruins in tournament semifinal

In Pee Wee Tier 4 action, the North Okanagan Knights fell 8-3 to the host Bruins in Sunday’s semifinal of the Winfield Invitational.

Wesley Graves (2) and Eli Dwyer, on a breakaway, scored for the Knights, who had Caedon Bellmann and Thomas Burton in net. North Okanagan finished the round-robin by doubling the Nelson Leafs 4-2 Saturday morning with Michael Kormany, Bryan Brew, Easton Hunter and Ryan Desilets handling the offence in front of Burton.