Winger Mark Francis scored three times as the Nedco Titans brushed back the Talon Benefits Ajax 4-2 in North Okanagan Midget Super Hockey League play Sunday night at Civic Arena.
The third-year speedster opened the offence four minutes into the second period, assists going to linemates Yanik Fillion-Murphy and Garrett Dansereau.
Francis made it 2-0 five minutes later with d-man and captain Brodie Homeniuk drawing the helper. Fillion-Murphy set up Francis for the 3-0 goal with 38 seconds left in the second period.
The Ajax struck back 1:32 into the third when captain Bradlee Jones finished off a bang-bang play with Jake Brodoway and Dustin Stasiuk, on a 5-on-3 powerplay. Kristian Currie converted 26 seconds later, on the powerplay, from Jones and Dallas Zupp. Chad Woodhead put the first-place Titans up by two with 4:42 left on an unassisted effort.
The 11-1-1 Titans received solid goaltending from Rodger Sewell, while the second-place 8-2-3 Ajax got some big saves from Tyler Yawney in the fast-paced tilt.
The Nedco defensive core, which also included Gavin Banning, Quin Finocchio and Brett Shaigec turned in stellar showings.
On Saturday afternoon in Sicamous, Francis pulled a natural hat trick in the first period and finished with four goals as the Titans toppled the Salmon Arm Lakeside Printing Sting 8-4.
Max Mitchell, with 1+3, Josh Lerbeck, Austin Bosquet and Fillion-Murphy completed the Nedco offence in front of a steady Zoran Bos. It was 4-4 at the break as the 2-7-2 Sting skated hard.
In other Sunday night Midget play at Civic, Adam Fenske supplied 3+2 and Russell Hickman also scored three times as the Vernon Authentic Trophies ambushed the Corbett Office Plus Cowboys 14-6.
Brett Vandale, with 2+2, and Travis Webster, with 2+1, also supported the third-place Tropics, who improved to 8-2-1.
Cameron Strike added 1+3, while Brock Wagner and Brandon Tarasenko each netted 1+2. Rowyn Lewis-Hatherley scored once and Connor Smidt and Justin Hiscoe each pocketed two assists.
Dustin Folliott pulled the hat trick for the Cowboys, while Justin Ramsey, Sam Whitelaw and Nathan Meyer added singles. Jeremy Clark earned two assists.
In Bantam Super League action, the Interior Savings Flyers opened up 2012 with a 16-4 victory over the Salmon Arm Silverblades at PV.
Landon Munk led the goal parade with five, while Logan Imrich scored three and deuces came from Tim Ufimsteff and Brett Lambert.
Lambert also donned the pads for a rare stint in goal which allowed Dustin Beckner to snipe a goal. Other tallies came from Connor Granger, Eamon Miller and Leland Riguidell.
In Pee Wee Super League action, Askew’s Foods upset first-place Butcher Boys Red Wings 6-4 Sunday at Wesbild Centre.
Brendan Horsfield and Keefer Kaempf scored first-period goals with assists to Halle Higgins-Wilson and Joshua Tyk. Nice offensive zone passing from Horsfield and Evan Winther got the puck back to the point where Tyler Semeniuk buried a shot through the crowd for a 3-2 lead.
Kendra Ostafie converted a gorgeous pass by Jake Pelletier in the third to keep the game close.
The host Sicamous Predators clipped the Stevenson Mechanical Blues 2-1 Sunday morning with Nick Mitchell, from Braden Cooper and Braydie Allan, giving the third-place 8-3-1 Blues a 1-0 first-period lead. Sicamous is 4-7-1.
The Lumby Stars ambushed the Winfield Bruins 8-3 Saturday behind the superb netminding of Cameron Pryor.
Tyler Yule (2), Josh Litven (2), Jarrett Miller, Graham Moss, Haylee Gosselin and Payton Kineshanko, on a nice pass from Vanessa Yaremcio from the corner, handled the Lumby offence.
The Bannister Blazers of Vernon outlasted the Stars 8-6 Sunday at Wesbild. Moss (2), Litven (1+2), Yaremcio and Tanner Franje-Gilbert scored for the Stars, who also got solid play from Danika Koch. Morgan Holland Chloe Yule and Shale Miller.
The Lumby Atom Stars, sponsored by Kineshanko Logging and Armstrong Co-Op, stopped the Vernon K2 Stone Crushers 8-3 behind Tage Kineshanko’s hat trick and Michael Preston’s clutch goaltending.
Ryan Desilets added two goals for the first-place Stars, while Matthew Yaremcio, Conner Seehaver and Quin Williamson supplied singles.