Things finally seem to be clicking for the Vernon Re/Max Tigers.
After outlasting the Armstrong Shamrocks 12-7 Saturday night at Wesbild Centre, the Cats made it two straight Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League wins by snuffing the South Okanagan Flames 19-16 Monday at Memorial Arena in Penticton.
“It was the OK Corral last night,” smiled Tigers’ head coach Myles Brumpton.
“This was the first game where I felt the bigger nets were a factor… this season. Dave (McWhirter, assistant), Keith (Hanna, assistant) and I were very happy with the 19 goals we scored, but weren’t very excited about the 16 goals against.
“I can’t emphasize enough the importance of getting contributions from 12 of your 18 runners; it’s like trying to hit a moving target.”
Trailing 11-10 after 40 minutes, the 4-5-1 Tigers, who leapfrogged the 3-8-1 Flames for third place, exploded for nine goals in the final frame. It was 7-7 at the first intermission.
Ryan Landels earned three of his five goals in the final frame, and added a helper. Mason Limb chipped in with 4+1, with other Vernon offence coming from Nolan Frame (2+4), Ethan Anderson (2+4), Ryan Sarazin (2+2), Sean Conners, Bayne Bosquet, Darryl Landels and Sam Oliver.
Mitch Walton, with 5+5, was the Flames’ main threat.
Midget call-up Tyler Landry played the third period and he did a good job, especially considering the minimal exposure he’s had with the bigger nets.
Ryan Landels was also stellar against the 4-4-2 Baby Rocks, pacing the Tiger attack with 2+5.
Mike Quarin, Darryl Landels and Sarazin also turned in two-goal efforts, with singles from Ryan Oliverius and Braden Barr.
“Overall, we played a very sound game against Armstrong for all three periods and we took advantage of the fact that Armstrong had five call-ups for the game,” said Brumpton.
“It was a disciplined game where the boys didn’t deviate from our systems and that mixed well with the fact that the officials let us dictate the outcome of the game by only calling one penalty per team in the third period.
League scoring leader Brett Hawrys recorded 3+3 for Armstrong, with Owen Barker adding a hat trick and Cole Siedel a single.
The Baby Rocks host the Kamloops Venom tonight at Nor-Val Sports Centre, while the Re/Max crew visits the Kelowna Raiders Thursday at Memorial Arena.
Vernon entertains the Flames Saturday at Wesbild.
Senior Rocks swarm Cats
In the second leg of the Saturday-night doubleheader at Wesbild Centre, the Shamrocks bounced the Tigers 10-4 in their Senior C men’s tilt.
The Shamrocks got on the board quick with Jarrett Medhurst scoring two of his three goals. Armstrong defender Jamie Cockerill then took a nice outlet pass and burned down the floor to beat Vernon goalie Ivor Sandaker on the breakaway.
Rob Short put the Tigers on the board, but captain Chad Pounder, returning from a wedding, collected the first of two goals to give Armstrong a 4-1 lead at the break.
The Tigers cut the lead in half in the second period with a powerplay goal by Short. Medhurst and Pounder then tallied for the Rocks, and Brennan Plante responded for the Tigers to make it 6-3 heading into the final frame.
Armstrong’s short man unit, led by netminder Owen Siddall, was tested in the third period, allowing just one goal by Plante on a lengthy 5-on-3.
The Shamrocks answered with goals by Brett Heitman (2), Brent (Pez) Anderson and Cockerill.
The Rocks outshot Vernon 58-45, and took 34 penalty minutes to Vernon’s 11.
“It was one of those nights where everyone contributed and everyone stepped up,” said Armstrong head coach Glenn (Stumpy) Mitchell, praising the play of call-up Taylor Greatrex, who played with the Baby Rocks in the Junior tilt.
“He had never played a lacrosse game before tonight, and had only one practice with the Juniors on Thursday. The kid really impressed me.”
The Shamrocks and Tigers tangle again Friday night (7:30) at Wesbild.