The Sun Valley Source for Sports Bantam Tier 1 Vipers and Penticton Vees have met in four hockey tournament finals this season.
The Vees levelled the score at 2-2 by winning the big one, clipping the Vipers 3-2 in Sunday’s Tier 2 final of the 46th Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (KIBIHT).
It was the first time the KIBIHT was held at a time other than Easter.
The Vees scored twice on the powerplay in the tight-checking final. Vernon’s game MVP was Brady Marzocco, who also was named to the tournament all-star team.
The Vipers went 5-1 in the 16-team Tier 2 division, with 34 goals for and only seven against on the strong play of the defensive core and the goaltending duo of Conor Webb and Kieran Watts.
Vernon started round-robin action on New Year’s Day, downing Kelowna’s Pursuit of Excellence 4-3 with Stephane Richard earning MVP.
Keith Chase’s Vipers rolled through the rest of preliminary round, ambushing the Spokane Chiefs 8-0 (Riley Swiscoski MVP) and grounding the Vancouver T-Birds 9-2 behind the offence of MVP Matt Kowalski.
In playoff action, Vernon bounced the Prince George Cougars and Kelowna Rockets by identical 5-0 scores. Owen Beliveau and Coleton Bilodeau took game MVPs.
Okanagan Hockey Academy of Penticton claimed the Tier 1 title with a 4-2 victory over the Kamloops Jardine’s Blazers on the Olympic-size ice at McArthur Island Sport and Event Centre.
The Coca-Cola Midget Tier 2 Vipers claimed the West Kelowna Tier 3 tournament title, grounding the Kelowna Rockets 3-1 in Sunday’s final.
The Coke boys stayed out of the penalty box while taking bumps and bruises and losing Jack Pawsey with a dislocated shoulder. Hayden Chase, Kaden Black and Brenden Zupp provided the offence with Bryce Pyle earning two helpers. Tristan Quiring was stellar in making 42 saves.
The Vipers doubled the spirited Sicamous Eagles 4-2 in semifinal action. Josh DeCoffe, Eamonn Miller, Pawsey and Chase produced snipes in front of Louis Springer (22 saves).
After icing West Vancouver 7-1 and stopping the Tri-City Americans 5-3 in Friday games, Vernon ambushed Nelson 9-2 with Chase getting 3+1.
DeCoffe added 2+1, while Zupp bagged two goals, Miller counted 1+2 and Main also scored. Pawsey and Black each had three assists.
The Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers lost 7-2 and 6-1 to Kelowna Fripps Warehouse in a home-and-home exhibition Midget Tier 1 series.
Carson Richards, assisted by Jacob Dolinar, supplied the Viper goal Saturday in Kelowna.
Dolinar, from Scott Latwat and Layne Greene, and Jeff Bochon, assisted by Greene and Dolinar, counted the Vernon goals at home.
The Watkin Motors Pee Wee Tier 1 Vipers bowed 4-2 and 6-1 to the Kelowna Tier 2 Rockets in their home-and-home exhibition set.
Lucas Zubrod and Cameron Moger scored in Rutland, while Gavin Fleck and Lee Christensen collected snipes in the home loss.
The line of Fleck, Lachlan O’Keefe and Cory Lazar put out the most offence and consecutive hard-charging shifts. Kobe Grant took the loss in Rutland, while Tyler Sedlacek was in net at home.
The Vernon Fix Auto Vipers came from behind in a 5-4 Bantam Tier 2 win over West Kelowna Saturday at Civic Arena.
The teams have enjoyed a big rivalry since the Vipers lost to West Kelowna in their home tournament before Christmas.
Mason McLennan and Nicholas Cherkowski started the scoring before the midway ice clean. Dex Elders tapped in from Cherkowksi, and then Cherkowski converted from Joe Eggert to tie things up with 37 seconds remaining. Elders connected from a scrum with one second left. Ethan Huizinga made 34 saves.
The North Okanagan Pee Wee Tier 4 Knights lost 5-2 to the South Okanagan Coyotes in Sunday’s semifinals of the Salmon Arm Pee Wee Tier 3 tournament at the Shaw Centre.
Brandon Matvenko and Alex Gilowski scored for the Knights, who split goaltending between Thomas Burton and Caedon Bellmann.
The Knights reached the semis after rattling Ridge Meadows 7-3 behind two goals from Eli Dwyer and singles from Dylan Huber, Michael Kormany, Griffin Evans, Kevin Thomas Walters and Gilowski. Thomas Walters pocketed two assists in support of Bellmann.
The South Delta Storm shut down the Knights 5-1 Saturday morning. Wesley Graves had the Knights’ goal, assisted by Gilowski.
The Knights open their eight-team home tournament Friday at 11:15 a.m. against the Chase Broncos at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
In Atom Development C Division play, the H&L Glass Vipers settled for a 3-3 road tie Sunday with the Summerland Jets.
Despite outshooting Summerland 28-14, it took some late heroics by Nick Noren to salvage a point.
The listless Vipers relied on Teja Sheldrake to bar the door as the Jets came in with a perfect record in league play and set the pace early. Sheldrake kept things scoreless with a show-stopping glove save in the ninth minute and seven more stops in the stanza.
The Vipers came out with more purpose in the second, and on a Vernon powerplay, Colby Restiaux jammed in the opening goal after a pair of rapid-fire shots by Liam Leibel.
Summerland countered against the flow of play, and then some strong board work by Chris Bond paid off for Vernon. Bond recovered the puck deep for Maddex Minard, whose centering pass to Jordyn Morris bounced in off a defender. Summerland tied it again on a late powerplay.
The Jets capitalized on their first chance nearly eight minutes into the third before Emma Elders and Cash Anderson applied a furious forecheck with three minutes to go, allowing Noren to bury a clearing pass.
On defence, Brock Holliday was rock-solid, while Noren and Minard extended their goal streaks to four games.