Third place in the regular season, the Vernon Seed Orchard Snakes are making a serious bid for the North Okanagan Midget Super Hockey League playoff title.
The Snakes (11-6-1) are 3-0 going into Saturday round-robin play in Enderby after upsetting league champion Nedco Coyotes 7-2 and bouncing Blackburn Excavating of Salmon Arm 8-2.
Chris Gallant fought off the flu and pocketed 1+4 as the Snakes surprised the desert dogs Saturday afternoon at Kal Tire Place. Jeff Hiscoe, Liam Semeniuk, Landon Munk and Tim Ufimtseff also scored. Chase Larsen and Nikolai Negraiff anchored a stingy back end.
Brett Jewell and Aaron Keryluke replied for the 16-1-1 Coyotes.
Munk skated miles and pocketed 4+2 as the Snakes smothered Salmon Arm Sunday night at Civic Arena. Hiscoe, who had his rocket shot working from the point, exploded for 3+3 and Adam Fenske had a single.
The second-place Lumby Stars (12-6) are also in the chase after finishing 3-1 in the round-robin.
The Stars got 3+2 from slick Kyle Weston as they ambushed the Vernon Athentic Trophy & Plaque Autobots 8-2 Tuesday night at Pat Duke Memorial Arena.
Calvin Tourand, Zach Kuperus, Logan Meier, Shale Miller and Jack O’Neil supplied singles, while Wyatt Warnes earned three helpers in support of Jake Holland.
Kristian Currie and Jene Desjarlais answered for the Autobots.
Sponsored by Irly Bird Building Centre Lumby and R.J. Schunter Contracting, the Stars lost their opener to the Snakes before stopping the visiting Coyotes 6-5 Sunday and outlasting Salmon Arm 7-5 Monday.
Kuperus (2), Weston (1+2), Connor Fair, Tourand and Warnes handled the offence against Nedco with Reid Hackett yielding two assists.
Nik Wasylyk (2), Jewell, Austin Derkach and Keryluke replied for Nedco, who got two assists from Jakob Alexis.
The Autobots toppled Salmon Arm 3-1 Saturday at the Shaw Centre on goals from Currie, Josh Lerbeck and Isaiah Wenger.
The inaugural Spirit of Bradley Haslam Friends & Family Memorial Tournament was a huge success Saturday in Lumby.
There was a silent auction and lots of fun hockey with longtime referee Rob Edwards winning the Youth-Sport-Community, presented by Kevin Porteous of Lumby minor hockey.
Haslam was a popular Midget player who died, at age 18, in an industrial accident last June. He was a leader with a magnetic personality.
Sharks need comebacks
In Bantam Super League playoffs, the league champion Corbett Office Plus Sharks were 3-0 going into Thursday night play versus the second-place Bruins in Winfield.
Brennan Schwark pulled the hat trick as the Sharks erased an early 2-0 deficit and iced the Five Star Awards Bulldogs 5-3 Tuesday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
Jake Pelletier and Branden Lehoux counted singles for the Sharks (18-0), while Chris Moore, Darius Stone and Miles Wohlford replied for the Bulldogs (11-6-1).
Isaac Waldemaras stopped Schwark on a first-period penalty shot, while Reece Hawthorne blocked a number of Shark breakaways.
Riley Bos and d-man Tyson Sampert each pocketed two snipes as the Sharks iced the DCT Marauders 7-3 Sunday at Civic.
Sean Howard, Nick Mitchell and Seb Wenger, on a sweet deke, completed the Corbett scoring. Landon Currie, Aaron Botterill and Sam Frisby countered for DCT.
Schwark and Mitchell scored 23 seconds apart as the Sharks rallied to clip the Interior Savings Giants 6-5 Saturday morning at Kal Tire Place.
Schwark, who finished with 2+1, took a feed from Howard and buried the winner with a minute left. Mitchell netted the equalier 23 seconds earlier, from Schwark and Lehoux. Howard, Lehoux and Kevin Sullivan had the other Shark goals.
The fifth-place Giants (8-10) built up a 4-1 second-period lead, getting sensational goaltending from Dylan Blazek and stingy defence from Tyler Semeniuk and Noah Debalinhard.
Semeniuk (2), Brendan Horsfield, Jed Halvorson and Keefer Kaempf had the Giant snipes.
The Cougars defeated the Bruins 4-3 Sunday at Nor-Val. Talon Williams, Reece Schroeder, on a coast-to-coast rush, Maguire Dickinson and Moore, with the winner off a gorgeous feed by Kaylan Lawrence, handled the Cougar attack.
The Marauders opened the playoffs with a Saturday doubleheader, beginning in Winfield with a 7-5 loss.
Cam Mackenzie, Evan Winther, Cole Martin, Currie and Botterill scored for the Marauders, who rebounded to stop the Giants 6-4 Saturday at Civic.
Martin pulled a hat trick, including the clinching goal into an empty net. Goalie Noah Foufoulas preserved the lead with a sliding glove save off forward Ryan Lazar with three minutes remaining.
Jim Brodoway, Currie and Frisby had the other goals for the Marauders.
Kaiden Parton, Jaden Steinke, Semenuik, on a power play, and Halvorson scored for the Giants.
The Marauders wrap up the playoff round-robin Saturday in Winfield against the Cougars, while the Giants visit Winfield.
The Midget final goes Monday night at 7:30 at Kal Tire Place with the Bantam final set for the same night and time, at Civic.