Jeffrey Curtis of the Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs clears a puck away from a Kelowna Rockets opponent in Okanagan Tier 2 Pee Wee Hockey League action at Kal Tire Place North. The Mustangs will host their 48th annual eight-team Coca Cola Winter Carnival Classic tournament at KTPN starting Thursday. (Katherine Peters/Morning Star)

Vernon Mustangs primed for Coke Classic

48th annual Vernon Winter Carnival pee wee hockey tournament begins Thursday morning

The Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs will look for a four-peat as the 48th annual Coca Cola Classic Vernon Winter Carnival Pee Wee Hockey Tournament begins Thursday.

All games are at Kal Tire Place North for the first time in the tournament’s history, following the demolition of the Vernon Civic Arena.

The Mustangs, who have won the last three Classics, open the tournament Thursday at 8 a.m. against the Vancouver Thunderbirds and will play the Los Angeles Kings Thursday at 5:45 p.m., immediately following the tournament’s opening ceremony at 5:30 p.m.

Vernon wraps up Coca Cola Division round-robin play Friday at 5 p.m. against the St. Albert Stars.

Teams in the Sun Valley Division include the California Wave, Edmonton Canadians, Port Moody Panthers and Yellowknife Wolfpack, who lost last year’s A-event final, 9-5, to the Mustangs.

The four division finals are set for 9 a.m., 11:30 a.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. Sunday.

Related: Mustangs 2-0 in Coke Classic 2018


Kristi Vassberg and Mandi Fiest have proven to be ultimate teammates and goalies.

The Goalie Girls, as the pair are known and cheered for loudly by family, friends and teammates, helped the North Zone Kings and their all-male teammates win the Ultimate Hockey Bantam Showcase against 11 of the best teams from B.C. and Alberta in Kelowna.

Vassberg went 4-0-0 with a pair of shutouts, and made 24 saves in the championship game, a 5-2 win over the Thompson Blazers of Kamloops.

Feist went 2-1 with a shutout.


Vernon H&L Glass Vipers dropped a pair of games to Kamloops, 11-8 and 8-3.

Vipers scoring was lead by Ollie Reid with five goals and three assists. Jack Saxton had 4+2. Landon Grant and Mathis Paull each scored once while Alex Houle and Max Reed collected two assists each.

Calder Barry and Development C team call up Ethan Whitney split the duties in net.


Vernon Valley Wood Remanufacturing Vipers dropped their two-weekend league games.

Merritt Centennials beat the Vipers 3-0 Saturday at the Priest Valley Arena. Ethan Whitney was beaten in each period in goal for Vernon.

The Kelowna Rockets erupted for six second-period goals in an 11-5 win Sunday over the visiting Vipers.

Ryan Frick, Shanahan Gare, Cohen Hogberg, Kyle Gillick and Matthew Vranesic scored for Vernon in support of Cohen Bailey in net.


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The Girl Goalies, as Mandi Feist (left) and Kristi Vassberg are called by teammates, family and friends, helped backstop the North Zone Kings Tier 1 bantam team to a tournament win in Kelowna. (Photo submitted)

The North Zone Kings Tier 1 bantam hockey team won the Ultimate Bantam Hockey Showcase tournament in Kelowna. (Photo submitted)

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