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Rockets ice Vipers

The Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers fell 5-2 to the Kelowna Rockets in the first game of the Okanagan Mainline Midget Tier 1 hockey final at Memorial Arena Friday.

Three power-play goals helped give the Rockets a 4-0 lead after 40 minutes before the Vipers began a spirited comeback attempt in the third period. Malcolm MacPhee, from Austin Krahn and Braydon Sophonow, and Jared Barendregt, from Joshua Vetter and Sophonow, cut the lead in half before the Rockets scored with three minutes remaining to seal the victory.

Vipers' Michael Hails stood tall in net stopping 54 Kelowna shots, while Vernon managed 21 shots on the Rockets' netminder.

"I thought we played good for 30 minutes," said Vernon head coach Jim Armstrong, whose team trailed 1-0 after 20 minutes. "We need to play well for 60 minutes to beat a team like Kelowna."

Game 2 in the three-game series goes next Saturday at Civic Arena in Vernon at 6:15 p.m. The winner of the series earns a berth in the provincials in Nanaimo.


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