Morning Star Staff
The Vernon Rangers went undefeated in their home Tim Horton Timbits Novice Hockey Tournament last weekend.
The Rangers, making their tourney debut, were led offensively all weekend by Zac and JJ Milne with additional scoring provided by Maguire Nicholson and Logan Killingbeck.
Head coach Mike Casagrande noted the Rangers employed a defence-first mentality and were anchored on the back end with the pairings of Gunnar Nyberg and Ty Whitney, and Brady Kuziw alongside Zack Casagrande.
In goal, Colten Colmorgen was stellar, taking home the team tourney MVP.
“The boys are working hard and they’re earning their chances,” said assistant coach Ryan Williamson, “They’re really starting to come together as a team.”
The Rangers opened by tying the Kelowna Lightning 2-2 on goals from JJ Milne and Zac Milne. Kelowna got the late equalizer.
Zac Milne (4) and JJ Milne (2) supplied the goals as the Rangers tied the Kamloops Destroyers 6-6 with the Destroyers levelling the score in the final minute.
The Rangers then brushed back Kelowna Blackhawks 4-2 later Saturday night.
Killingbeck and JJ Milne each counted a deuce. The forwards, also including Zac Milne, Nicholson, Nate Williamson, Trey Schober, Marcel Greene, Jace Collard and Hunter Farrell, were excellent on the forecheck as Vernon dominated play in Kelowna’s end.
In Sunday action, Nicholson and the Milne twins scored in a 3-0 Ranger win over the Kelowna Blue Bombers. Colmorgen earned the shutout.
The Tim Hortons Steelers went 3-1 in the same tournament.
Trevor Seibel’s Steelers opened with a 7-3 win over the Blackhawks with Theo Van Wyk and Deagan McMillan each supplying two snipes.
Caleb Johnson, Erik Pastro and Bryden Murray added singles, while net detective Austin Seibel was solid with several highlight-reel saves.
McMillan then pocketed 3+2 as the Steelers stomped out the Blue Bombers 10-1. Van Wyk also pulled the hat trick, while Pastro (2), Seibel and Chase Hobenshield completed the offence.
Bryson Helmer bagged three helpers and Terry Johnson added one in front of a solid Matthew Kuhnlein.
The Steelers lost 6-3 to the Destroyers with goals coming from Van Wyk, Pastro and Bryson Helmer. Seibel was strong in the loss.
The Steelers shut down the Kelowna Lightning 5-0 with McMillan, Van Wyk, Helmer, Riley Cormie and Seibel converting in support of Kuhnlein.
The Vernon Novice Wolves opened by tying the Vernon Mini Vipers 4-4. The Wolves were led offensively by Ethan Wilby, Ben Bradford and game MVP Ryan Cox.
The Wolves drew the dreaded 6:15 a.m. Saturday game and played their best game of the year in defeating the Vernon Bulldogs 8-2. Goaltender Spencer Elders was game MVP.
Brady Devries, Tyrin Gregoire-Bear and Jackson Klammer had strong games for the Wolves.
Later in the day, the Wolves ran into red-hot goaltending and lost 5-1 to the Vernon Fighter Jets. MVP Ashton Sutch had the lone goal.
On Sunday, the Wolves beat the Kelowna Snipers 3-1 anchored by the defence of Connor Jones (MVP), Alessandro Durfeld, Cohen Kucher, Kai Maleniza and some big saves by Evan Woodruff. Ashton Rysen netted the winning goal.
“The Vernon Wolves would like to thank the sponsors, the volunteers and the tournament committee for all of their hard work in putting on a first-class tournament,” said manager Erin Jones.
The Fighter Jets shot down the competition and went 4-0.
“The competition was strong but the Jets’ character and work ethic was on display all weekend,” said coach Mike Tew. “The team was led by consistent scoring and leadership from Mark Johnson, Dylan Mcgee, Oakley Kemper and Evan Sadesky. The all-rookie line of Holly Magnus, Jesse Readshaw and Nathan Walton performed like a young Dale Hawerchuck and were often too much to handle for the opposition.
“Goalie Josh Donison consistently made huge saves, frustrating teams time and again. Of course he credits the remaining fighter jets for excellent work protecting the Danger Zone.”
The Vernon Novice Bulldogs muscled through three games Saturday, starting at 6 a.m., and finished strong.
“The team had a very fun, and positive weekend, with exceptional efforts from Cameron Ward, Tylan Hutton, Jeffery Curtis and Mike Huss,” said coach Garth Gartner.
“The Bulldogs dominated in the shootouts.”
The Summitt Financial Atom/Pee Wee Female Lakers lost 5-1 to North Okanagan Knights in their final regular-season game of the year.
Mackenzie Miller scored on a breakaway. Goalie Emily Branter and winger Josey Nerling each earned a share of the gold jersey for their efforts. Bailey Alexis and Abby Lawlor worked hard on offence while Kristy Vassberg was solid on defence.
The weekend before, the Lakers lost 16-0 to the host Winfield Bruins and bowed 10-4 to Salmon Arm Save On Foods Oil Kings.
Shelby Richard earned the gold jersey for her great job in net against Winfield. Sarah Claeys and Camryn Beacom had strong defensive games. Brooke Lawlor and Nerling went hard up the wings and Robyn Alexis made her weekly visit to the sin bin.
Emma Roine had a great game with 2+1 versus the Oil Kings, while Paige Brayshaw scored her first of the year and added an assist to take the gold jersey. Ivy Scott also scored her first of the year with Vanessa Kerr on the assist.