Things known for sure heading into playoff day, Saturday, Feb. 11, at the 50th Vernon Winter Carnival Coca-Cola Classic Pee Wee Hockey Tournament at Kal Tire Place North:
• A team from Alberta will be in the championship game;
• The host Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs will not.
The Mustangs were relegated to the consolation bracket with a tough 5-4 loss to the undefeated Leduc (Alta.) Roughnecks Friday, Feb. 10.
Leduc topped the Coca-Cola Division at 3-0 and will face provincial rivals St. Albert Raiders Stars in one championship semifinal Saturday at 12:30 p.m.
The Stars finished second in the Sun Valley Division, tied with the Cranbrook Bucks at 2-1. The Bucks defeatede St. Albert 5-4 Friday morning to clinch the tiebreaker.
Cranbrook will face the visitors from south of the border in the other championship semifinal Saturday at 2:45 p.m. Washington state’s Wenatchee Wild secured its spot with a 6-3 victory over the winless North Delta Sun Devils Friday afternoon. The Wild went 2-1, Vernon was 1-2 and North Delta 0-3.
The two championship semifinal winners will play for the Amy Myles A Division Trophy at 4:30 p.m Sunday. The two losers meet for the Alex Kuly B Division Trophy Sunday at 2 p.m.
Vernon will face the Chilliwack Bruins in a consolation semi Saturday at 10:15 a.m. The Bruins and Okotoks (Alta.) Oilers were 1-2 in the Sun Valley Division, but Okotoks beat Chilliwack 5-3 Friday morning to finish third.
North Delta will face Okotoks at 8 a.m. Saturday.
The two winners play for the Mickey McMahon C Event Trophy Sunday at 11:30 a.m., and the two losers kick things off Sunday at 9 a.m. in the Mickey Ogasawara D Event Trophy.
The Mustangs needed to win Friday to advance to the championship bracket, and got off to a good start when Layten Oliver scored his first of two goals on the night at 6:08 of the opening period.
However, goals from Cassen Boyle, Blake Morrissey and Easton Smith before the end of the frame lifted Leduc to a 3-1 lead heading into the second period.
Madden Smith’s goal on a penalty shot 47 seconds after the ice clean made it 4-1 Roughnecks.
Nolan Roughton and Oliver got Vernon back in the game with goals three minutes apart, but Leduc chased Mustangs starting goalie Isaac Pol with a fifth marker, an unassisted effort from Oliver Spila at 11:16, to restore the two-goal lead.
Carter Wallace scored eight minutes into the third period for Vernon, and the Mustangs had two powerplay opportunities in the game’s final six minutes but could not beat Leduc goalie Morgan Koethler for the equalizer.
Gunner Podollan came in relief of Pol for the Mustangs.
All tournament games are at Kal Tire Place North.
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