Tigers take on familiar face at provincials

One more sleep for four teams as they dream about lifting the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championship trophy.

One more sleep for four teams as they dream about lifting the B.C. Junior B Lacrosse Championship trophy.

The host and Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League champion Vernon Source for Sports Tigers battle the Delta Islanders in the tourney’s first game Saturday night at Kal Tire Place.

“Nobody is gonna have a free ride through our house this weekend,” said Tigers’ coach Keith Hanna. “We got our game-plan down and we are ready to get on with it.”

The Tigers are vying for their first provincial championship. The won silver in 2003 and 2009.

Reinforcements are on the way with the return of Sean Connors. Connors missed the entire TOJLL playoffs while travelling through Europe.

“Sean is a good kid and we’re looking forward to his return on offence,” said Hanna.

The Islanders breezed through their regular season at 15-1. They knocked off the Coquitlam Adanacs 2-1 in the West Coast Junior Lacrosse League final series.

“We are feeling good about ourselves. We like our team here but we are very respectful of the calibre of teams we will face this weekend,” said Islanders’ head coach Dave Haller.

Expect to see a similar style to the Tigers from the Islanders. They are a balanced team that has a solid system that takes care of business in the offensive zone.

“We are peaking at the right time. We had a good regular season and a strong playoffs and we are healthy,” said Haller.

With so much unfamiliarity with all the teams, the Islanders might have a secret weapon in Mason Limb. Limb makes his return to Vernon as a member of the Islanders. He was a member of the Tigers last season and had 12 goals and 28 points in 14 games.

Limb moved to Vernon when he was 13 and played with most of the Tigers growing up. He now lives on the coast getting his hours as an electrician.

“It’s going to be a fun weekend, I got a lot of family and friends that are coming out,” said Limb.

He scored five goals and eight points in seven playoff games with the Islanders.

“I have been staying in touch with the guys for sure. I’m good friends with Bayne, A.J., Darrell and Austin,” said Limb. “I’m gonna be bringing the heat on them.”

The Islanders placed third in last year’s provincials with the Tigers finishing fourth.

The Saanich Tigers begin their title defence when they battle the Okanagan representatives, the Kamloops Venom Saturday night at Hassen Memorial Arena in Armstrong.

“We are fired up to try and repeat this weekend,” said Saanich Tigers’ head coach Chris Jackson.

The Tigers have 12 returnees from last year’s squad. Assistant captain Trevor Hansen is back along with the Tigers’ MVP Derek Jackson, who sniped 19 goals and 39 points in eight games this season.

“We are a little younger this year, but we got lots of speed and hustle and we are a team that likes to play together,” said Chris Jackson.

Kamloops went ballistic on the interior league in the regular season with one of the most potent offences in years, but dropped the final to Vernon in four games.

When you see how many points three Venom players racked up this year, you might need a double take.

Brady Jorgensen imposed his will with 66 goals and 103 points, Riley Peterson sniped 26 goals and 73 points and Kyle Pauwels amassed 32 goals and 64 points.

Kamloops’ netminder Mitch Horsman will be unavailable for provincials as he sustained an off-floor injury to his right hand during the TOJLL finals.

The round-robin goes Saturday and Sunday with the consolation game on Monday at 9 a.m. with the championship immediately following at 12:30 p.m.