Brittany Jackson (right) of the Vernon Seed Orchard Sharks wheels past Sydney Bachalo of the Kelowna Avs Friday at the Civic Arena.

Brittany Jackson (right) of the Vernon Seed Orchard Sharks wheels past Sydney Bachalo of the Kelowna Avs Friday at the Civic Arena.

Vernon Sharks shut down Kelowna Avs

Vernon Seed Orchard Sharks open Bantam Girls Hockey Tournament with a 2-1 win over Kelowna Avs Friday night at Civic Arena.

The Vernon Seed Orchard Sharks opened their Bantam Girls Hockey Tournament with a thrilling 2-1 win over the Kelowna Avs Friday night at Civic Arena.

Sharks’ Game MVP Brooke Berube opened the scoring 15 minutes into the first period when she tucked in a rebound off a Hannah Scherck shot. Taylor Cousins drew an assist.

Kelowna equalized 20 seconds later and took control of the game, peppering Bailey Berndt with a barrage of shots.

Vernon started surging with 10 minutes left in regulation, and Nikala Debalinhard played the hero, scoring with just over five minutes to play. She fired a hard wrister to the far side to beat the Kelowna keeper for her first goal of the season. Cailee Bauml and Taylor Vandale assisted.

Vernon withstood a furious assault by Kelowna to hold on for the win. Selena Bridge-Hanson and Hannah Swift closed out the game with strong defensive efforts.

In the other Friday-night game, the Northern Capitals clipped the Dawson Creek Canucks 4-1.

Meanwhile, the Vernon Home Building Centre Vipers now know where their first OMAHA playoff game will be – in Kamloops.

After losing 4-1 to the North Kamloops Lions in Tier 1 Midget action Friday night at Memorial Arena, the Vipers will have to settle for third place and play the second-place Lions in a three-game playoff beginning in Kamloops next weekend.

A slow start cost the Vipers dearly as the Lions potted an early goal on a giveaway to take a 1-0 lead into the second period.

Although Vernon pushed back and created several quality scoring chances, they failed to beat the Kamloops goaltender. The Lions eventually turned the tide and scored three goals in the second period to put the game away.

Curtis Sexsmith, from Dennon Leibel and Ryan Beach, broke the shutout late in the second period and the final frame was scoreless.

The Vipers travel to Penticton today to close out the regular season against Okanagan Hockey Academy.