Morning Star Staff
They finally lost a lacrosse game, but the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers were hardly placing calls to the Boxla Crisis Line Friday night.
Instead, the Tigers spent 10 minutes mulling over what went wrong and headed to Boston Pizza for a post-game meal.
The Kamloops Venom dispatched the Tigers 16-12 at Kal Tire Place in Game 1 of the best-of-five Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League championship series.
Game 2 goes tonight in Kamloops with the third game back in Vernon Tuesday night.
Vernon’s winning streak dates back to losing the 2014 provincial Junior B final – also at Kal Tire Place – to the Delta Islanders.
“It’s almost like we needed a loss to wake up,” said Tigers’ veteran Ryan Sarazin, who pocketed 2+1. “Nobody was happy in the room after, but we talked about what we could have done better and now we’re focused on the next game.”
Sarazin won a split decision over Kamloops star defender Brady Georget in a spirited scrap in the final five minutes. Both players miss Game 2.
The Tigers led 6-4 after one period and the Venom moved in front 10-9 after 40 minutes.
“We took some penalties in the third that we probably shouldn’t have, but it really came down to we just didn’t bury our chances; we didn’t execute like we normally do.”
Perhaps a sign of things to come occurred when Liam McPhee hit the post on the Tigers’ first shot and Kamloops’ Rylan Van Uwen scored on the Venom’s first shot at 47 seconds.
The teams traded goals until Vernon scored two in a row to take 4-3 lead at 13:55 of the first. That lead lasted less than a minute before Kamloops levelled the score.
The Tigers got to within two goals twice in the third before the Venom scored three in a row for a 16-11 lead. Kamloops went 3-for-5 on the powerplay and scored once shorthanded. The Tigers were 1-for-5 with the man advantage and produced three shorthanded goals.
Quintin Harrish had 2+2, Jordy Barr bagged 2+1, Ethan Anderson had two goals and Thomas Landels one for the Cats.
First star Riley Peterson supplied 1+4 for the Venom, while second star Jerome Thorne had 4+1. Darrell Landels of the Tigers was third star with 3+2.
Kyle Pauwels added 4+2 for Kamloops. Colton Boomer and Mike Van Unen each earned deuces, while Blaine Boomer provided 1+6 for the Venom, who finished at 6-7-1.
The Venom started veteran goalie Mitch Horsman but he was given a quick hook after allowing two goals on seven shots. Dalan Etter went the rest of the way and was solid for Kamloops, giving up 10 goals on 50 shots. Aaron Jensen went the distance for Vernon, making 45 saves.
Meanwhile, the Vernon Everton Ridge Homes Legends bowed 8-3 to the Ridge Meadows Burrards Friday morning in B.C. Bantam A Lacrosse Championships action at Kal Tire Place.
“It was a tough adjustment for our kids to play an early morning game,” said Vernon head coach Casey Sherriff. “We got into serious penalty trouble with some undisciplined play and they scored seven powerplay goals. Five-on-five, we were with them.”
Captain Caden Colemorgan, with a deuce, and Kael Black scored for Vernon. Sherriff praised Randall Toop for Matthew Latham for strong outings.
Vernon faced Peninsuala (Sidney) and Coquitlam in Saturday games.