Morning Star Staff
Fierce rivals will meet in the first round of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoffs.
The regular season champion Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers will face the Armstrong Shamrocks in a best-of-five league semifinal staring Tuesday at Kal Tire Place (7:30 p.m.).
The matchup became official Thursday when the Shamrocks (5-10) fell 16-9 to the Raiders in Kelowna. Armstrong needed to win its final two games to finish third, which would have meant a date with the South Okanagan Flames in round one.
Vernon and Armstrong closed out the regular season Saturday with the Shamrocks in Kamloops to take on the Venom, and the Tigers looked to make league history by becoming the first team to go a perfect 16-0 as they entertained the Flames.
Cam McMillan and Quinn Johnson Plant each had seven-point games to lead the Raiders (1-14-1).
Joel Castle led a shorthanded Shamrocks squad with 5+1 with the other goals coming from Sam Hanley, Liam Drabiuk, Nich Yadernuck and Kaden Sagh. Ryan Martin had four assists.
Goalies Cole Macfarlane and Kalvin Davyduke combined to make 51 saves as the Raiders outshot Armstrong 67-54.
Game 2 in the Tigers-Shamrocks series will be Thursday, 7:30 p.m., at Nor-Val Sports Centre, and Game 3 returns to Kal Tire Place Saturday, July 11 (7:30 p.m.).
The Flames have home-floor advantage in their semifinal with Kamloops.
The league final is slated to start on Friday, July 17. The playoff champion will represent the TOJLL at the provincial Junior B championships July 31-Aug. 2 in Saanich.