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Rattlers top Tigers

The Kamloops Rattlers share last place, but they play their best games against the Vernon Re/Max Tigers.
Vernon Re/Max Tigers’ Nolan Frame takes control of the ball while Kamloops Venom’s Trent Johnston attempts to catch up during junior lacrosse action Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.

The Kamloops Rattlers share last place, but they play their best games against the Vernon Re/Max Tigers.

The Rattlers brushed back the Tigers 11-9 Sunday night at Memorial Arena, beating Vernon for the second time in three Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League meetings this season.

Vernon started the weekend by shading the Kamloops Venom 6-5 Saturday night at the Wesbld Centre.

“We fell asleep in the second period and they scored six,” said Vernon coach Dave McWhirter, of Sunday’s showing. “Mentally, we weren’t tough enough. We shot ourselves in the foot. We weren’t owning the ball and losing our checks on defence.”

Starting goalie Josh Point had to leave the game in the second period when a rivet fell out of his helmet. Midget call-up Tyler Landry was pressed into duty and allowed three goals before finding his groove.

“We threw Tyler to the wolves, but he pulled himself together and knuckled down after those three goals,” said McWhirter, running the bench with head coach Myles Brumpton away.

McWhirter praised Jay Seaton, Craig Bigsby, captain Brett Hanna and Brennan Plante for solid outings.

“The rest of the guys were passengers until the third period,” said McWhirter.

It was 2-2 after one period and 8-5 Rattlers after 40 minutes. The Rattlers went to 3-8, tied with the South Okanagan Flames for sixth spot. Vernon dipped to 5-5-1, tied with the Venom for third.

In Saturday’s tilt, Nolan Frame (2+1) scored the winner with less than two minutes to go on a nice play that was set up on the bench in an attempt to open up Kamloops’ stifling zone defence. Frame leads the Tigers with 13 goals and 33 points.

Cole Lawrie, with 1+3, Riley Soleway and Mitch Steel completed the Tigers’ offence.

Said Brumpton: “The game was a good opportunity for the coaching staff to show the younger players that we can win in any situation, seeing as we led the entire game until about halfway through the third period, when Kamloops went up 5-4, and then the boys had to put on their work boots to take the lead back and then hold on to it for the win in the last few minutes.”

Brumpton was pleased with the Cats’ discipline (two minor penalties) and how they adjusted to a new system implemented just a few weeks ago.

“Brennan Plante delivered some bone- crushing hits in the second and third that left a few of the Kamloops boys wondering if it was really all that necessary (or worth it) to cut through the middle just to score – we noticed more outside shots in the third,” added Brumpton.

Hanna scored the tying goal that began with a great steal on defence.

He then rushed down the floor to bury it with less than five minutes left.

Riley Donahue scored twice for the Venom, who outshot the Tigers 42-35.

Meanwhile, the Armstrong Shamrocks shaded the Flames 9-8 Sunday night in Penticton with the teams combining for 105 penalty minutes.

The Flames jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead before the Shamrocks came to life on the first possession of the second and scored seven goals, led by leading sniper Owen Barker’s hat trick.

Barker added another goal in the third and had two helpers. He leads the Irish with 20-24-44, second in the league. Stephen Ringdal pocketed 2+2, while Brett Hawrys, Joel Castle and Willy Hanley each scored once.

The Flames attempted a comeback in the third but goals from Barker and Hanley sealed the win. The Shamrocks improved to 7-3-1, two points back of the first-place Kelowna Raiders.

“It was ugly, but it was a win,” said Shamrock GM Jim Maundrell. “Our goaltender, Cole MacFarlane (37 saves), had a really nice game. He’s a really good ball stopper and he has a good stick. They had him down for one assist, but he actually had two.”

MacFarlane is a rookie who played Midget A2 for the North Okanagan Legends last year.

Maundrell says the Shamrocks can beat anybody in the six-team league if they play a full 60 minutes.

Armstrong entertains the Rattlers Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre, while Vernon hosts Kelowna Saturday night at Wesbild Centre.

Kelowna leads the circuit with 103 goals after blasting the Flames 11-2 last Thursday night.

Tyler French of the Raiders, who plays hockey for the BCHL Westside Warriors, is the league’s points king with 19-29-48 in nine games.

Brett Hawrys of Armstrong is third with 24-18-42 and Frame is fourth with 20-13-33.