It was a good start to a weekend hockey tournament in Merritt for the Vernon Valley Wood Remanufacturing Atom Development C Junior Vipers.
But not a great finish.
After opening the tournament with two-straight wins, the Junior Snakes dropped their last three contests to finish fourth in the eight-team event.
Vernon opened with a 10-0 romp over Kamloops. Cohen Hogberg had three goals, Tylen Lewis and Hudson Podollan each added two and singles went to Aaron Teichroeb, Ryan Frick and Shanahan Gare. Matthew Vranesic had two assists. Ethan Whitney recorded the shutout.
Frick and Tylen Lewis each had two goals as Vernon defeated the West Vancouver Thunder 7-2. Gare, Kalin Frick and Kyle Gillick added singles.
The Vipers gave up six first-period goals and fell 7-3 to the Prince George Kings. Carter Hutton, Asher Kuiken and Gare scored for Vernon, who were then shutout 11-0 by the Penticton Vees.
Vernon finished the tournament with an 8-2 loss to Prince George. Kuiken and Ryan Frick scored for Valley Wood.
ATOM A DEVELOPMENT
Vernon H&L Glass Junior Vipers lost a pair of nail-biters on the weekend.
Vernon nearly completed a comeback in Kelowna Saturday but fell 5-4 to the Junior Rockets. At Kal Tire Place Sunday, Vernon blew a third-period lead and dropped a 7-6 decision to the Kamloops Junior Blazers.
Ollie Reid led the Vipers in scoring with three goals and three assists. Axel Houle and Jack Saxton each had 2+1 while Mathis Paull scored twice. Landon Grant had 1+1. Calder Barry was in net for both games.
BANTAM TIER 2
The Sun Valley Source for Sports Vipers fell 8-4 on the road late Saturday afternoon in Salmon Arm.
Despite a slow start that had them trailing 4 -1 at the half-time flood, the Vipers rallied back with three quick goals to tie the game 4-4 early in the third period. Unfortunately they were not able to convert the momentum into a win as the Silvertips responded with four third-period goals to secure the win.
It was Bennett Kuhnlein with two goals, Erik Pastro with a goal and an assist, and Kyle Wheeler with a goal to handle the Vernon scoring. Ryder De Nys and Cash Anderson each picked up an assist.
PEEWEE TIER 3
Vernon Collard Financial Vernon Tier 3 Vipers came home after a weekend in Osoyoos, not with the hardware but with tons of heart.
After being placed in a Tier 2 pool in the tournament, playing teams with greater skill, speed and size, the Vipers never gave up. The Vipers opened with an 8-3 loss to the Castlegar Rebels. Game MVP was goalie Kohen Molde, who finished with 36 saves. Heart and hustle award to Lyndon Carleton for his gritty play. Tage Nanji scored twice for Vernon while Mark Johnson added the other on a setup by Kai Maleniza.
Saturday morning, the Vipers played the Tier 2 hosts South Okanagan and fell 12-1 to a very skilled and eventual tournament runner-up. MVP Brayden Rypkema faced 54 shots with the Vipers mustering up 12. The lone goal came from captain Johnson who also received the Heart and Hustle award for that game. Carleton had the assist.
The late game on Saturday Boise, Idaho PeeWee A score a 9-2 win over Vernon. Johnson, with a goal and assist, and Carleton scored the Collard goals with helpers from MVP Nanji, Hudson Restiaux and Maddy Fick. Heart and Hustle went to Maleniza.
Vernon finished off the tournament with a 5-3 loss to the gritty Kelowna Female Rockets, who outshot the Snakes 23-16. MVP Dylan Salling led Vernon with 2+1. Hannah Robertson came up with 1+1. Helpers went to Cole Gartner, Jace Collard, Nanji, and Heart and Hustle winner Sam Levesque.
PEEWEE TIER 4
It was also a disappointing weekend in Osoyoos for the Vernon Nixon Wenger Junior Vipers.
Vernon lost its first three games in the preliminary round, all by one goal, to the Spokane Chiefs, South Okanagan and North Vancouver. The lawyers were down three goals in the third against North Van.
The Sunday games were no better and Vernon had to settle for an 0-5 tournament, despite excellent games by both goaltenders, Matt Barber and Oscar Homeniuk, who kept the scores tight. There were some notable plays from several of the players, but it was never sustained by the whole team, and they just couldn’t generate enough offence as a result.
Regular season play resumes next Sunday with a game against the rival South Okanagan team at Kal Tire Place.