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Vernon Bantam Vipers prep for eight-team home event

Tier 2 Bantam squad drops 4-3 exhibition game at home to Williams Lake
Vernon Rellish Transport Lakers (white jerseys) finished second for the straight tournament, falling in the final of a Female Bantam A event in Penticton. (Morning Star - file photo)

Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Vipers tuned up for their eight-team Winter Classic tournament this weekend at Kal Tire Place North by dropping a tough 4-3 decision to the visiting Williams Lake Timberwolves.

The Laketown scored the winning goal with 38 seconds left in the game.

The Vipers opened the scoring three minutes into the game as Johnathan Reynolds launched a bomb from the blue line that beat the Timberwolves keeper. Jack Laventure picked up the assist. After falling behind 2-1 early in the second period, back-to-back goals from Brayden Tumber and Logan Killingbeck put the Vipers up 3-2 after 40 minutes.Garrin Best, Bradley Scabar, Cole Gartner and Bryson Helmer picked up the assists.

A power-play goal from Williams Lake early in the third tied the game up. Quinn Scambler took the loss in net.

Vernon will debut its new third jersey in their tournament opener Friday at 8 p.m. against the Campbell River Hurricanes.

The Vipers will take on the Penticton Vees at 11 a.m. Saturday, and wrap up the round-robin Saturday at 5:45 p.m. against the Okotoks Oilers.

West Kelowna Warriors, Kamloops Blazers, East Kootenay Avalanche and St. Albert Hornets of Alberta make up the other four-team pool.


The Rellish Transport Lakers added another silver medal to their collection after a successful weekend in the South Okanagan.

The Lakers opened the tournament with a 5-2 win over the host Penticton Vees. The Vees got on the board quickly with a goal 14 seconds into the game and seemed to have the momentum scoring another goal in the second putting them up 2-0 over Vernon. The Lakers then responded with five unanswered goals to shut down the Vees. Player of the game (POG) Parker Davidson led the Lakers with a hat trick and an assist. Singles came from Tori Maltman and Kaisy Huber. Assists went to Faith Seehaver, Makenna Jackson and Hailee Hunt. Jordan Tung picked up the win in net.

Rellish Transport continued its winning ways Saturday morning with a 5-1 victory over the Sherwood Park Fusion of Alberta. Vernon used five different goal scorers in Willow Elliott, Huber, Aimee Skinner, Hannah Robertson and Reanne Muller. Assists to hard-working player of the game Julia McLennan, Holly Magnus, Huber and Sophia Winstanley. Mya Lesage took the win in net. Shots 34-11 for Vernon.

Saturday afternoon the Lakers met the Kelowna Rockets again, six days after Kelowna’s gold medal win at the Lakers’ home tourney. It took until 13 minutes left in the third for the game winning goal to be decided in a hard-fought battle that saw the Rockets take a 1-0 win. Vernon outshot the Rockets 25-24 but couldn’t solve the Rockets goalie. It’s the third straight time Kelowna has blanked the Lakers. Tung was tagged with the loss while Muller earned the POG.

In their final round robin game bright and early at the chilly Penticton Memorial Arena, the Lakers secured their spot in the championship game with a 7-3 win over the Taylor MHA Predators out of Fort St John. Shots were 42-7 for Vernon with Lesage taking the W. Magnus sparked the team with a hat trick and POG Robertson added 1+1. Singles to Lily Roberts, McLennan and Seehaver. Davidson had two assists, Huber and Maltman with single helpers.

In the championship game it was deja vu with the Lakers coming up short against the Kelowna Rockets losing 4-1. Once again the Lakers outshottheir opponents 21-19 with Seehaver scoring Vernon’s lone goal, a shot from the blue line in the third but it was too little too late. Next up for the Lakers, sponsored by Imagine Pools and Waterscapes, The Tile Guy, Jespersen Electrical, Braden Robertson Construction, Mormak, Capri Insurance and Sladen Moore, is a doubleheader on Saturday against the Fraser Lake team at Priest Valley Arena.


Vernon Nixon Wenger Vipers went 0-2 on a weekend West Kootenay road trip.

The Vipers started their weekend swing Saturday, Nov. 23, in Grand Forks with a 10-8 loss to the host squad in a game that saw Vernon goalie Ethan Whitney injured in the third period, meaning Oscar Homeniuk would play the rest of the weekend.

Vernon played catch-up throughout the game. Reid Williamson tied the game 1-1 in the first, followed later in the frame with a 2-2 equalizer from Teigan Kelley. Williamson scored at the beginning of the second period to make the score 4-3 Grand Foks.

William Heighway scored Vernon’s fourth goal, Kelley got the next two, including a shorthanded marker, and Nolan Jensen buried a rebound for the Vipers’ seventh goals. Kelley completed his four-goal game with a minute left to go in the game.

The Vipers traveled to Castlegar Sunday and fell 8-7 to the Rebels in a game where Homeniuk made a phenomenal 48 saves as the hosts outshot Vernon 56-35.

Kelley opened Vernon’s scoring, making the score 2-1. Heighway got a goal in the second period, and added a second goal shorthanded in the third, making the score 4-3 Castlegar. After the Rebels went ahead 5-3, Williamson scored from Tylen Lewis to pull the Vipers to within a goal, and Kelley tied the game before Castlegar scored with 5:04 remaining in the game.

Luke Mitchell picked a great time to score his first goal of the year, tying things up with 4:28 left to goal.

The goals continued in rapid succession as Castlegar scored with 3:38 left to go up 7-6 before Williamson tied it up 22 seconds later.

Castlegar scored the game-winner on a powerplay with 2:12 left in the game.


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Vernon Nixon Wengers Vipers Tier 3 Peewee goalie Oscar Homeniuk made 48 saves in a tough 8-7 loss in Castlegar Sunday, Nov. 24. (Nicole Wilson photo)

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