Tigers withstand Kamloops attack

The Tigers improved to 13-0 in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse league, holding on to edge the Kamloops Venom 8-7.

Roger Knox

Morning Star Staff

Good to be lucky, lucky to be good.

Both applied to the unbeaten Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers Wednesday night at Kal Tire Place.

And having, arguably, the best goalie in the league on their roster doesn’t hurt, either.

The Tigers improved to 13-0 in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse league, holding on to edge the Kamloops Venom 8-7.

Tigers’ goalie Aaron Jensen made 58 saves as Kamloops (5-6-1) outshot Vernon 65-42, including 18-7 in the final period which saw the Venom score the only two goals – the first time all season the Tigers have failed to score in a period.

“AJ stood on his head again,” said Tigers’ head coach Chris Scabar. “If it wasn’t for him, we wouldn’t have won the game. We had a great first period, took some dumb penalties in the second and didn’t show up in the third. AJ bailed us out and we pulled it out by the skin of our teeth.”

Trailing 8-7 and with goalie Dalan Etter pulled for an extra attacker with 42 seconds left, Kyle Pauwells – who already had three Venom goals on the evening – whipped a shot from outside that Jensen got a piece of.

The ball hit the goalpost behind the Tigers netminder and danced ever-so-close to the goal line, but did not go in.

The Tigers, who clinched first place last Saturday with a 7-6 win over Kamloops, were then able to run out the clock.

Vernon jumped out to a 5-1 lead 14 minutes into the game, but the Venom scored a deuce before the period ended for a 5-3 Tigers lead.

Vernon stretched the lead to 8-5 after 40 minutes.

Kamloops was 4-6 on the powerplay, Vernon 1-4.

Ryan Sarazin had three goals to lead the Tigers offence, while singles went to Quintin Harrish,  Steele Pelletier, Ethan Anderson, Liam MacPhee and Jay Seaton.

Newly acquired Tre Mason had two assists for the Tigers, who picked up the left-handed scorer from the Kelowna Raiders for future considerations.

“He’s fit in instantly,” said Tigers’ general manager Roxane Seaton. “He wants to be here, he plays hard, we needed a lefty and we’re really happy to have Tre.

“We have to give thanks to (Kelowna coach) Travis Wray, who was awesome about releasing Tre, one of his team’s top scorers, and giving him a chance to extend his last season of junior lacrosse.”

Mason, who turns 21 in July, was third in Raiders scoring with 9-8-17. He is thrilled to be playing with the unbeaten Tigers.

“I love it, I’m so happy to be here,” said Mason.

“I got a text from my coach last Sunday asking if I was interested in joining the Tigers. I knew a couple of guys on the team and I’m just really excited to be playing here.”

The Tigers return to action Saturday, June 27, when they host Armstrong at Kal Tire Place.

The Shamrocks (4-8) host the Kelowna Raiders (0-10-1) at the Nor-Val Sports Center tonight. Game time is 7:30. Armstrong trails the third-place Venom by three points.

League playoffs are slated to begin July 7 with best-of-five series.