They host the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championships in August, but the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers are not looking for the easy entry.
Instead, the Tigers hope to go in as league champions and they jumpstarted that goal with a 6-5 win over the defending Thompson Okanagan league champion Kamloops Venom 6-5 Saturday night at Memorial Arena.
Jordy Barr bagged the hat trick and added two helpers in Vernon’s season opener. Brett Olsen supplied 1+2 for the Tigers, while brothers Steele and Jake Pelletier each managed singles. Darnell Hauca recorded 51 saves.
“We were outshot badly, but Darnell was outstanding and our defence picked up the slack,” said Barr, an ultra-talented third-year veteran who converted once on the powerplay. “Everybody’s excited about hosting the provincials and it means a lot to beat the Venom, especially in Kamloops: it was awesome.”
The Tigers have nine returnees under head coach Chris Scabar, who gets help from Ryan Minchenko and Tyler Plante.
“We’re a very fast-paced team,” said Barr, 19. “We’re not the biggest team on defence, but we’re very strong.”
Colton Boomer produced 3+1 for the Venom, while Riley Peterson counted 1+4 and Riley Lawryk also scored once in front of Matt Hans (28 saves).
Tylor Seabrooke of Kamloops and Steele Pelletier were tossed for fighting with 80 seconds to play.
“We had a really good crowd on Saturday. A lot of people came out to watch,” said Venom standout Peterson. “We were pretty upset with how we couldn’t get the win in the home opener, especially against Vernon, with the rivalry there.”
Boomer earlier pulled the hat trick in an 11-8 win over the hometown Kelowna Raiders on Thursday.
“Our offence needs to step up,” said Peterson. “Our defence and goalie played pretty good on Saturday. It definitely wasn’t the result we wanted on Saturday, but it’s still early in the season and it’s not always bad to get a loss to point you in the right direction.”
Vernon battles Armstrong Friday night at the Nor-Val Sports Centre (7:30 p.m.).
Meanwhile, the South Okanagan Flames outlasted the host Shamrocks 12-11 in Friday night action.
Connor Walton pocketed 4+2 for the Flames, who got two goals from Levi Thompson and 1+3 from Mike MacLean.
Tyler Chartier earned 2+2 for the Shamrocks, while Nick Yadernuk and Mason McLennan each had deuces and singles came from Chase Bronson, Ryan Sadorsky and Sam Hanley.
Yadernuk and Louis Shortreed were ejected for a scrap midway through the second period.
Armstrong visits the Kelowna Raiders Thursday night and face the Flames next Monday night in Penticton.
The North Okanagan Novice #3 Super 8 Legends split a pair of minor lacrosse tilts, losing 8-3 to Kamloops before ambushing Nicola Valley of Merritt 10-0.
The Legends went ahead of Kamloops on a goal by Aidan Owen before Kamloops recorded eight unanswered snipes. Kobe Maltman nailed the last two goals with strong support from Jaxon Wadsworth and Nathan Rinkel. Chayton Tardiff was a warrior in net.
Maltman registered three goals Sunday with Ari Manson Owen and Nathan Rinkel each supplying two apiece and Kaiuss Dusel adding a single in front of a fantastic Tardiff.
The Storage For Tour Life Novice #2 Legends parlayed a Kohen Pounder hat trick into a 6-6 tie with Shuswap #1 Saturday at Nov-Val Sports Centre.
Waylen Stowards, Kohl Hendricksen and Kian Yargeau completed the Legends’ offence which ran into a red-hot goalie.