Lee Christensen of the Vernon Valleywood Manufacturing Venom carries the puck with Devin Pimm of the Vernon H&L Glass Wolfpack in close pursuit Sunday in the Okanagan Mainline Senior Atom Development Hockey League semifinals in Salmon Arm.

Lee Christensen of the Vernon Valleywood Manufacturing Venom carries the puck with Devin Pimm of the Vernon H&L Glass Wolfpack in close pursuit Sunday in the Okanagan Mainline Senior Atom Development Hockey League semifinals in Salmon Arm.

Venom strike Senior Atom silver

The Kamloops Ice Ducks grounded the Vernon Valleywood Manufacturing Venom 8-1 in Sunday’s final of the 14-team Okanagan Mainline Senior Atom Development Hockey League playdowns at the Salmon Arm Sunwave Centre.

Ben King scored for the Venom, who finished league play fourth in their division at 10-7-1. The Ice Ducks were first in their division and the overall Senior Atom league at 16-2.

Earlier Sunday, the Venom played a stellar defensive game and clipped the H&L Glass Wolfpack of Vernon 2-1 in the semifinals.

The Ice Ducks stopped the Kamloops Devils 7-2 in the other semifinal.

CJ Storey of the Venom took a feed from Lucas Halvorson and went top shelf from the mid-slot on Wolfpack goalie Caden Colmorgen four minutes into the second period to open the scoring.

Gavin Fleck went around a Wolfpack d-man and also went roof daddy from five feet out 11 seconds into the third period to make it 2-0.

The Wolfpack, whose forwards were kept to the perimeter by a stifling Venom defensive core, answered with six minutes left when Nick Mitchell’s seeing-eye wrister from 25 feet fooled Venom tender Braeden Barnard. Zach Agar drew the assist.

The Venom finished the round-robin Saturday night at 2-1 after ambushing the Westside Warriors #1 9-5 behind two goals by Aidan Rysen.

The Venom lost a 2-1 heartbreaker to the Ice Ducks Saturday morning.

Coleton Bilodeau, with 1+3, Mika Burns, with 1+2, King, Cody Webb, Caden Danbrook, Dylan Sedlacek and Levi Danbrook completed the Venom offence in front of Tyler Sedlacek versus Westside.

“It was very satisfying for us to finish second,” said Venom head coach Jason Danbrook. “Kamloops has a solid team and that was their fifth tournament win of the season. The highlight of the year for us was only losing to them 2-1 on a late goal.”

The Venom, who had tied and lost to the Wolfpack in exhibition play earlier this season, outhustled and outchecked their friendly Vernon rivals Sunday morning at Hucul Pond.

“Our theme in the dressing room for the playoffs was ‘to compete.’ We’re a really talented team and the kids bought into our theme.

“Against the Wolfpack, our defence took away time and space from their forwards.”

The Wolfpack closed out preliminary play at 3-0 after upending the Kelowna Icehawks 5-2 Saturday at Spectator Arena with Nicholas Cherkowski supplying 1+2.

Cherkowski’s linemates Joe Eggert and Mitchell each netted 1+1, while the Pack also got goals from Eric Noren and Finnian O’Keefe. Cameron Moger pocketed two assists in support of Dylan Blazek.

“The Wolfpack had a great playoff run until they ran into a great defensive game by the Vernon Venom,” said H&L Glass head coach Sandy Moger.

“Our players learned to compete and realized giving 50 per cent is not acceptable. They learned teamwork and not individualism. They grew as a team and became one of the top teams in Atom Development.”