Bryton Stead of the Vernon Machine Vipers takes a shot on Kamloops Rockets’ goalie Cole Feere in Tier 3 Bantam hockey action Saturday at Civic Arena.

Ricketts lifts Bolts to comeback win

Clay Ricketts pulls hat trick as the Vernon Battery Chargers rally to stop the Winfield Bruins 6-5.

Clay Ricketts pulled the hat trick as the Vernon Battery Chargers rallied to stop the Winfield Bruins 6-5 in Okanagan Mainline Juvenile Rep Hockey League play Sunday night at Civic Arena.

The Chargers moved to 5-0-2 atop the three-team loop, getting 2+2 from Theo Wagner and one goal from Graham Williams. Denon Bosk supplied three assists.

Goaltender Travis Hoy had his best game of the year, blocking 30 Bruin shots in the first two periods to give the Chargers a chance to rally in the third. It was 2-1 Vernon after one period and 3-2 Winfield after 40 minutes.

“We were able to regain our composure after killing off a string of penalties in the second and came out in the third determined to be the better team,” said Vernon head coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell, assisted by Keith Louis.

“Winning several loose puck battles in all three zones really was the difference in the third and our team play really improved in the final 20 minutes.”

The Chargers are in the Ridge Meadows Christmas tournament.

The Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers fell 6-2 to the league-leading Kelowna Fripps Warehouse Rockets in Midget Tier 1 action Sunday night at Civic Arena.

Logan Geefs got the Vipers on the board first with a great top-shelfer, on a penalty kill, in the first period, assisted by Austin Krahn and Trevor Pickett. The goal held up until 12:00 of the second period when Kelowna evened it up.

Defenceman Ryan Beach’s seeing-eye shot from the point regained the lead for the Vipers, assists from Braydon Sophonow and Austin Garrington. The Rockets equalized and went ahead for good with two late goals in the middle frame and three unanswered markers in the third period.

The Vipers are off until the Richmond International Tournament Dec. 27 through 31.

The Coca-Cola Vipers split a pair of Midget Tier 2 league games, clipping the Okanagan Hockey School (OHS) Canucks 4-3 before losing 8-1 to Kelowna. The Vipers are 1-11-1.

Chad Thomas, with the final two goals, Taylor Hamilton-Gee and Jacob Dolinar scored in Vernon’s win in Penticton. The Vipers were without several regulars due to the flu. OHS is 2-7-1. Brad Jones scored against Kelowna (6-4-1), assisted by Travis Churchill and Kenny Batke.

In B.C. Major Midget League action, the Okanagan Rockets got 2+1 from Vernon’s Harlan Orr in a 7-4 win over the fourth-place Valley West Hawks Sunday morning at the Capital News Centre in Kelowna.

Orr moved into sixth place in the scoring parade, with 17 goals and 36 points.

Brett Mennear supplied 2+2, while Mac Ferner, a defenceman out of Vernon, earned 1+1. Parker Bowles, with 1+3, and Josh Ellis, also scored for the Rockets in front of Brenden MIlls and Harrison Whitlock (Vernon).

The Hawks opened the series Saturday night by stopping the Rockets 4-3. Orr, from Mitchell Cook, and Bowles, from Orr and Cook, handled the 10-9-5 sixth-place Okanagan offence in front of Mills.

Jordan Burns, who is Ferner’s defence partner, d-man Aaron Benjaminson, and forwards Mat Lambert and Colton Thibault, are other Vernon products with the Rockets, who begin the Mac’s International Tournament Tuesday in Calgary against the York Simcoe Express of Toronto (afternoon game at Father David Bauer Arena).

The Rockets face the Leduc Chrysler Oil Kings in a Wednesday night game and then battle the Prince Albert Mintos in a noon face off on Thursday, Dec. 29. They finish the round-robin on Dec. 30 (morning) against the Calgary Buffaloes.

In Bantam Tier 1 play, the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Renegades lost 12-1 to the OHS and 8-1 to the Kamloops Jardine’s Blazers in road games.

Carson Richards, from Jorden Dewing, scored against 8-1-2 OHS, while Hayden Chase, from Jagger Williamson and Richards, supplied the offence against the 4-7-1 Blazers.

Bryce Dyck and Louis Springer shared the goaltending for Vernon (0-11-1). The Renegades are in the Okanagan Elite Hockey Association International Bantam Showcase, Dec. 27-30, in Penticton. The Sun Valley boys take on Grande Prairie, Kamloops and the Lethbridge Hurricanes in round-robin play.

The Watkin Motors Mustangs fell 6-0 to the Prince George Cougars in Pee Wee Tier 1 action Saturday at Wesbild Centre. Prince George went to 1-7-2, while the Mustangs, who had several good scoring chances against a hot goaltender, dropped to 0-8-1.

The Vernon Machine Vipers and Kamloops tied 3-3 in Bantam Tier 3 league play Saturday at Civic Arena.

Richard Thompson scored on a nifty pass from Kaden Black, and less than a minute later, Zach Manton connected with a low shot from the point through a crowd.

Jarett Campbell completed the Vipers scoring with a hard-working goal, assists to Colton Skead and Bryce Pyle. Kamloops scored twice in the third period for the point. Billy Cawthorn went the distance in goal. Vernon is 6-2-2, while Kamloops is 0-6-4.

The Vernon Sladen Moore Pee Wee Lakers girls, behind great goaltending from Samantha Head, gained a 2-2 tie Saturday with the Salmon Arm Atom Development Team #1 at the Wesbild Centre.

The Lakers goals were scored by Andie Kaneda, assisted by Makenna Southam, and Mairyn Tucker unassisted. Head, with her major skill and ability, fought off 30 shots. The Lakers managed just 12 shots on goal.

On Sunday, the 2-5-4 Lakers battled hard, but were dominated by the Kamloops Atom Development Team #2 in a 7-4 loss at Civic.

Kaneda, Carli Southam, Tucker and Cassidy Marshall supplied the Laker goals with assists by Emily Clarke, Courtney Graves, Cassidy Marshall, Julia McCaig and Amy-Rae Fox.

In Pee Wee Tier 3 action, the Nixon Wenger Jets opened the home weekend with a 4-1 win over Kamloops and then rallied to ground Merritt 5-3.

Netminder Kieran Watts was solid with 33 saves for the win over Kamloops. Jenna Fletcher notched a pair of goals, while Liam Hennig and Dawson Boyce had singles.

It was a tight 2-1 game until late in the third when Boyce scored on a hard one-timer from the slot through traffic. With Kamloops pressing hard, Fletcher notched the insurance goal into an empty net. Nick Cherkowski and Kyle Sherwood each had a pair of helpers.

The Jets trailed Merritt 3-2 after two periods, but came out flying and scored three times in nine minutes. Jaxson Cummings, Coleton Bilodeau, Boyce, Finnian O’Keefe and Cherkowski handled the offence. Jayden Jensen Hunter made 14 saves as the Jets went to 6-4-1.

The Valley Wood Venom split two Atom Development games, falling 6-3 to Kelowna #3 in league play before posting a thrilling 6-5 exhibition win over the North Okanagan Knights.

The Venom jumped out to an early 2-0 lead over Kelowna with goals from Gavin Fleck and Brayden Beacom. Vernon was all over Kelowna in the first period but their goaltender kept it close. Caden Danbrook scored for the Venom in the third period.

On Sunday, the Venom played perhaps their finest full 60 minutes of the season, getting a hat trick from Beacom and singles from Cameron Moger, Danbrook and Fleck, with the winner with 56 seconds left, from Landon Harison.

North Okanagan was a much bigger, physical team but Vernon battled hard all game. The Knights got two shorthanded goals from Alex Gilowski, two even-strength tallies from Mitchell Brown and a single from d-man Michael Kormany.

The Knights brushed back host Merritt 7-4 on Saturday, with goals from Brown (2), Scott Gilowski, Korden Haller, Michael Kormany, Brett Harder and Brandon Matvenko in support of Easton Hunter.

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