Ryan Landels and Nolan Frame each collected a pair of overtime goals as the Vernon Re/Max Tigers outgunned the host Kamloops Venom 16-13 in Game 1 of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League finals Monday night at Memorial Arena.
The Tigers looked to have walked away with the win in regulation, but the Venom were awarded a penalty shot at the buzzer when a referee called Vernon netminder Tyler Landry for pushing his net off its moorings. Quinn Smith converted to draw even at 12-12 and force extra time.
“It was unfortunate there was a penalty shot called after the final buzzer, however it was very gratifying as a coach to see our captains and veterans step up and realize the significance in re-grouping the team immediately,” said Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton.
“That veteran rally showed poise and maturity in our leaders.”
The Tigers will host Kamloops for Game 2 of the best-of-five championship series tonight (7:30) at Wesbild Centre. Game 3 is slated for Monday in Kamloops.
Landels was a force early, pocketing four first-period goals to go along with a 7+5 performance. Mike Quarin, who was double-teamed pretty much every time he touched the ball, had Vernon’s other goal in the opening period.
Ben Saklofsky, Ty Hamer-Jackson and Jake Latin answered for Kamloops.
The Cats, who finished the regular season at 8-6-2, built a 9-6 lead after 40 minutes on singles by Landels, Craig Bigsby, Frame and Ryan Oliverius. Smith and Brady Jorgensen replied for Kamloops, who took the regular-season pennant at 14-1-1 (their only loss was to Vernon). Raiders’ captain Riley Donahue was ejected in the second period for crosschecking Jake Soleway near the players’ bench.
The Venom cranked up their offence in the final frame, getting goals from Latin (2), Smith, Jerome Thorne, Jorgenson and Colton Defrias. Darryl Landels, Ryan Sarazin and Frame countered for the Tigers, who took just eight total penalty minutes, including a coincidental roughing minor.
“Overall the boys played a very disciplined, selfless and determined game as there were few errors made by either team,” said Brumpton. “The game was a real chess match as each team was very methodical in their approach and execution.”
Landry finished with 41 saves and a pair of assists. Mike Frolek had 37 stops and a helper for the hosts.
Landry will miss Game 2 as he and fellow Midget call-up Liam Drabiuk are playing with Thompson Okanagan Zone 2 at the B.C. Summer Games this week. The Tigers will start Josh Point tonight.