The Vernon Tigers opened the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League season Saturday night with a rematch of last year’s championship game.
The Kamloops Venom redeemed themselves as they tamed the Tigers 12-10 at Memorial Arena.
The Tigers came undone in the third period, spending the final 11 minutes shorthanded and giving up seven unanswered goals.
“We just got tired in the third. Our tired legs led to a bunch of penalties,” said Tigers’ assistant coach Keith Hanna.
“We had no business losing that game,” said Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton.
Daryl Landels opened the scoring in the first with his first of three on the night, while Jordan Orr added a goal and five assists.
Liam Drabiik added a pair of goals in the first to give the Tigers a lead 4-3 after one.
Kyle Dennis scored his first junior goal in his first game for the Tigers, who headed into the second intermission up 9-5.
“We told our guys that Kamloops does not stop working. We cannot quit on this team,” said Brumpton.
The 2-0 Venom got four goals from alternate captain Jerome Thorne, a hat trick from Brady Jorgensen and a deuce from Kyle McLellan.
Kamloops outshot Vernon 39-30 with Matt Hans going the distance and adding one assist.
The Tigers were without their regular veteran goaltenders. Dylan Heimstra, 16, was between the pipes for the Tigers. He was backed up by Francois Leroux, a 15-year-old-call up from Midget B.
Vernon’s regular netminders, Thomas Bella and Aaron Jensen, will return from university later this week. The Tiger visit Kelowna to take on the 0-2 Raiders Thursday night at Memorial Arena.
Vernon’s schedule is road-heavy to start the year as they vacate Kal Tire Place for the Royal Bank Cup national Junior A hockey championships, hosted by the Vipers.
The Tigers visit the new and improved South Okanagan Flames Sunday in Penticton
Kevin Thompson took over the Flames’ coaching duties from Alex Gerk.
Thompson’s sons Levi and Tanner are returning, while assistant coach Mark Holick’s son Cooper, who played Junior B hockey for the Summerland Sting, is also in the Flames’ lineup.
Thompson said his son set up a Facebook page to put the word out for players. Within five days they had 18 or 19 player commitments.
“We’re trying to resurrect the whole feeling on the Flames,” he said. “Great sport to come out and watch. It’s called the fastest game on two feet for a reason. It’s a fantastic game.”
Kamloops Novice rolls over North Okanagan 10-4
Kamloops Novice #1 handled the RXtra Storage North Okanagan Novice #2 Legends 10-4 Saturday at Memorial Arena.
Nate Benn opened the scoring in the first on an unassisted tally. Devin Jameson scored one goal in each period to complete the hat trick. The first two goals were unassisted, while the third came from Seth Burton. Goaltender Nathan Tishenko was solid for North OK as he earned game MVP.