The Talon Benefits Ajax clipped the KT’s Thunder 3-2 in a thrilling Sunday A final of the 12-team Vernon Midget House Hockey Tournament at Civic Arena.
The Thunder opened the scoring on a solo effort by Billy Butler at 5:02 of the fast-paced first period after a turnover deep in the Ajax zone.
Brennan Martin tipped in a howitzer point shot by Kyle Evans to make it 2-0 Thunder 68 seconds later. Steven Goebel drew the second assist.
The Ajax finally found the net at 5:58 of the second with Jake Brodoway finishing a slick passing play involving Bradlee Jones and Aaron Kerryluke.
Jones equalized four minutes later on a scramble after a shot by Brenden Zupp. After end-to-end action in the third, Adam Tyk scored the winner at 17:09, getting his stick on a Brodoway point shot.
“We were very proud of our boys all weekend,” said Talon Benefits coach Darren Zup, assisted by Daryl Brodoway and Terry Kerryluke.
“They played hard and refused to quit, and were rewarded in a game that could have gone either way.”
The Ajax started off with a 10-5 win over Kelowna behind 4+2 from game MVP Dallas Zupp and 2+2 from Brenden Zupp. Kristian Currie and Jones each scored twice, while Layne Greene netted four helpers and Tyk and Kerryluke each earned two assists.
The Talon crew then stormed Westside Warriors 8-2 with Jones and Dallas Zupp each pulling hat tricks. Brenden Zupp, with 1+3, and Currie also scored, while Greene had two assists. Goalie Clayton Coles was game MVP.
Kerryluke took MVP with one goal as the Ajax stuffed Penticton 6-2 in their final preliminary game. Brenden Zupp (2), Gavin Opp, Brodoway and Greene completed the offence.
Dustin Stasiuk and Dallas Zupp had two helpers apiece. Goalie Tyler Yawney earned honourable mention for MVP.
The Corbett Office Plus Cowboys played their finest game of the season by bouncing Kelowna 6-2 in Sunday’s B final.
Jeremy Clark scored twice and set up one goal for the Cowboys, while Dustin Folliott, Sam Whitelaw, Justin Ramsey and Brett Mitchell contributed singles.
Both Yager Krenz and Austin Goss were solid in net and shared the victory. Whitelaw played hard on forward and defence and was named the Cowboys’ game MVP.
Said Cowboys’ coach Dan Wilson: “We had some peaks and valleys during the tournament, but the boys pulled together like men, and that’s the sign of a good team.”
The Cowboys edged Kamloops 4-3 in their final preliminary game Saturday, but gave up the only goal of the second period so failed to get maximum points and advance to the A final.
With Goss on the bench for an extra attacker, the Kamloops netminder stymied Scott Latwat with a spectacular glove save in the dying seconds of the period.
Folliott recorded the winner with 1.5 seconds remaining, unleashing a wicked screen shot from the blueline after breakout passes by Ramsey and Latwat. It was Folliott’s second goal of the game. Ben James and Nik Wasylyk also scored, while Mitchell Lukacs had two helpers in support of MVP Goss. Lukacs missed the B final after cracking some ribs.
The Cowboys opened by stuffing Williams Lake 6-1 with game MVP Folliott (2), Clark, Ramsey, Lukacs and James handling the offence.
Wasylyk and Folliott each scored twice as the Cowboys outgunned the Penticton Vees 7-5. Latwat earned 1+4, while Lukacs and James also had singles.
Clark was superb on defence with two assists to earn MVP. Adam Michelin and Reiker Krenz each bagged two helpers.
The Nedco Titans toppled Penticton 8-3 in the C final, finishing at 3-1. The Titans lost 7-2 to Westside before icing Kamloops 9-3 and icing Williams Lake 9-2. Game MVPs were goalie Rodger Sewell, Chris Gallant, Mark Francis and Gavin Banning.
The Vernon Authentic Plaque and Trophy Tropics dropped three of four games with MVP Luc Mitchell pulling the hat trick in a 10-4 victory over Williams Lake. Rowyn Lewis-Hatherley (2), Travis Webster, Logan Revell, Brock Wagner, Connor Smidt and Russell Hickman also scored.
MVP Brandon Tarasenko contributed 1+1 in a tough 7-6 loss to Penticton, with Lewis-Hatherley, Revell, Webster, Smidt and Adam Fenske also finding the net.
Tanya Nijjar scored the opening goal and earned MVP status in a 9-6 loss to Kelowna.
And in the D final at Wesbild on Sunday the Tropics fell 7-4 to Westside. Webster, Fenske, Wagner, Hickman and Brett Vandale also scored for the Tropics, while Smidt had three assists.
Solid d-man Cam Strike was named MVP while Webster, Vandale, Revell and Hickman scored for the Tropics.