Morning Star Staff
It appears the Vernon Source For Sports Tigers and Kamloops Venom will meet in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoff championship series.
The Tigers grounded the Armstrong Shamrocks 14-9 at Nor-Val Sports Centre, while the Venom torched the South Okanagan Flames 17-11 in Oliver Thursday night. Both teams hold 2-0 leads in the best-of-five semifinal series.
Vernon hosts Armstrong Saturday night at Kal Tire Place (7:30), while the Venom entertain the Flames at Memorial Arena.
Game 1 in the best-of-five finals is scheduled for Saturday, July 16 in Vernon. The Venom took out the Tigers in five games in last year’s final.
Brett Olsen supplied 3+1 to spark the first-place Tigers past the fourth-place Shamrocks. Jake Pelletier also pulled the hat trick as Vernon rebounded from a 5-3 first-period deficit to lead 9-6 after 40 minutes.
Quintin Harrish, with 2+2, Jordan Orr and Chris Inscho with 1+2 apiece, Thomas Landels and Liam Macphee completed the Vernon offence in front of Jeremy Gray.
Sam Hanley pocketed 3+1 for Armstrong, who got singles from Nik Luttmerding, Drew Bannister, Mykl Drabiuk, Cam Watson and Rory Marshall. Francois Leroux recorded 42 saves, while Gray made 28 stops.
The Irish took 38 penalty minutes, including misconducts to Hanley and Hamish Crick, while the Cats were assessed 30 minutes, including a misconduct to Jarod Reid.
Kamloops led for the duration of the contest, which was a penalty-filled and tumultuous affair. Tempers boiled over when Venom goalkeeper Matt Hans had to be transported to hospital for X-rays in the second period after a Flames player crashed into the net.
Riley Peterson led the Kamloops attack with four goals and seven assists. Kyle Pauwels (4+2), Anthony Matusiak (3+1), Monty Chisolm (2+1), Bowen Stauffer (1+2), Riley Polacik, Kolby Pauwels and Erik Bunce also scored. Taylor Seabrooke counted five helpers.