Vernon Tigers host Kelowna Raiders tonight

Vernon Tigers entertain Kelowna Raiders in showdown between top two TOJLL teams tonight at Kal Tire Place.

The top two Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League teams will tangle tonight as the second-place Vernon Source For Sports Tigers entertain the league-leading Kelowna Raiders (7:30) at Kal Tire Place.

The Cats, now 10-3-1, come into the tilt having split a weekend set against the ever-improving Kamloops Venom (4-10-1), winning 10-6 Saturday in Vernon before falling 15-8 Sunday at Kamloops Memorial Arena.

The Tigers wrap up the regular season by hosting the third-place Armstrong Shamrocks (3-7-3) Saturday at Kal Tire Place.

Ryan Sarazin turned the hat trick to lead the Vernon attack Saturday night. Tied 2-2 after one period, the Tigers out-scored the Venom 4-1 in the second frame to seize control.

“I was very impressed,” said Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton. “Keith (Hanna, assistant coach) and I implemented some new strategies this week and we saw them in play. They executed the game-plan.

“It was one of the best performances from a team perspective. For a coach, it was a treat to be on the bench.”

Jordan Orr (2+1), Sean Connors, Darryl Landels, Craig Bigsby, Liam Drabiuk and Austin Lewarne rounded out the offence in front of Aaron Jensen, who recorded 21 saves.

Nolan Frame dished up five assists and Mason Limb had two.

Brady Jorgensen (2), Jerome Thorne, Nolan Koly, Chris Case and Rob Peterson responded for the Venom, who got 44 saves from Dallan Etter.

Jorgensen ignited the Venom with seven goals in the rematch. Blaine Boomer (2+3), Peterson  (1+8), Thorne, Kyle McLellan, Max James, Brett DeFrias and Case all solved Jensen.

Frame, with a hatty, Drabiuk, with a deuce, and singles by Sarazin (3A), captain Brett Hanna (2A) and Theo Wagner accounted for Vernon’s offence. Orr collected three helpers.

Brumpton called it a lacklustre team performance.

“Everyone’s entitled to a bad game, I just didn’t expect three-quarters of them to have one on the same night.

“Too many passengers suited up for the game. It was a sad performance. We shouldn’t have lost that game, but give them (Kamloops) credit – they scored 15 goals on us.

“The parity in the league is a lot closer than what the standings show.”

Meanwhile, the Shamrocks used a nine-point night (6+3) from Stephen Ringdal to earn a 13-13 draw against the host South Okanagan Flames Sunday at Penticton Memorial Arena.

Willy Hanley supplied 3+3, Cody Berg netted 1+2 and Colton DeBoer, Sam Hanley and Adam New counted singles. Drew Hassard generated five assists while netminder Cole McFarlane (49 saves) had one.

Kaid McLeod (3+2), Levi Thompson (3+1) and Chris Pond (2+3) enjoyed stellar nights for the last-place Flames (3-9-2). Dean Grimm earned 43 saves.