A year ago, the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers lost only once in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s regular season.
The reigning champs have already surpassed that total in 2019.
The Tigers are off to an 0-2 start, losing the home openers for the league’s two other teams, the South Okanagan Flames Monday in Penticton, 17-15, and the arch-rival Kamloops Venom 24 hours earlier, 14-9.
The difference Monday was the hometown Flames outscoring Vernon 6-4 in the second period.
Kaden Doughty, who missed Sunday’s contest in Kamloops, had five goals and three assists for th Tigers. Brett Olsen, Jake Pelletier (four assists) and Caden Colmorgen (three helpers) each added hat tricks while Kael Black added a single. Quintin Fisk made 41 saves in goal in his Tigers’ debut. Vernon has lost reigning league MVP, goalie Kyle McIntosh, to work commitments for 2019.
The Tigers’ season got off to a rocky start Sunday, as Vernon fell 14-9 to the Venom at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.
Venom sniper Callum Gorman had as many points as the Tigers did goals, collecting three markers and six assists, and Kamloops nearly scored as many goals in the middle frame – eight – as Vernon did over 60 minutes.
Tanner Koroluk also scored three times for the Venom while former Armstrong Shamrock Mykl Drabiuk added a pair.
Colmorgen (three assists) and Reed Cashato each scored twice for the Tigers, who led 3-1 after 20 minutes but fell behind 9-7 after two periods.
Single goals went to Chase Worth, Jacob Brewer, Pelletier, Olsen and Jordy Barr. Rookie Derek Pereboom made 50 saves for the Tigers while former North Okanagan Legends minor netminder Troy Cuzzetto made 31 saves.
The two teams, who will play each other seven times in the three-team loop, meet again Saturday in the Tigers’ home opener at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.