An overtime goal prevented the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Vipers from reaching the Tier 2 B Division final at the 52nd annual Kamloops International Bantam Ice Hockey Tournament (KIBIHT) over the Christmas break.
Ryder Sebastian’s overtime winner past Vipers goalie Matthew Kuhnlein gave the Red Deer Steel Kings a 4-3 win.
Vernon led 2-0 after 20 minutes on goals by Nick Noren, from Cash Anderson, and Anderson from Brayden Schwaerzle.
The Kings scored three unanswered goals in the second period. Erik Pastro forced overtime with an unnasisted goal for Vernon at 6:59 of the third period.
The Vipers went 1-4 at KIBIHT.
After going 1-2 in the preliminary round, Vernon met the Olds (Alta.) Grizzlys for a second time in its first playoff game, losing 7-3.
Vernon led 3-2 after 20 minutes before the Grizzlys scored the final five goals, four of them in the middle frame. Noren, Anderson and Pastro scored for the Vipers while Schwaerzle chipped in two assists. Austin Seibel faced a barrage of Olds shots in the Vernon goal.
The Vipers beat the Williams Lake Timberwolves 5-1 to close out the preliminary round, scoring the game’s first four goals as they built up period leads of 1-0 and 4-0.
Tyler Burke opened the Vernon scoring with a powerplay goal at 18:46 of the opening period with Danny Mclennan and Kyle Wheeler drawing assists.
Colton Fleming made it 2-0 Vipers on a powerplay at 4:26 of the middle frame, set up by Noren and Riley Cormier. Noren and Ryan Howe assisted on a Brayden Schwaerzle goal 56 seconds later, and Ryder DeNys made it 4-0 Vernon with 16 seconds left in the middle frame, on assists from Ben Ramsey and Pastro.
Ryler King spoiled Kuhnlein’s shutout bid with a powerplay goal for the T-Wolves midway through the third period. Noren scored with 6:18 remaining, set up by Burke and Anderson, to round out the scoring.
Vernon lost its tournament opener Wednesday, 7-1, to the Grizzlys. Cormier scored Vernon’s only goal on a powerplay, set up by Noren, at 8:20 of the first period, which tied the game 1-1. Kuhnlein took the loss in goal. Kelvin Kearns had two goals for Olds.
Vernon returned to the ice early Thursday morning, and dropped a 6-5 overtime decision to the Spokane Jr. Chiefs in a see-saw battle.
The Chiefs jumped out to a 3-0 lead after 20 minutes, only to have the Vipers storm back in the middle frame with four unanswered goals from Anderson, Schwaerzle, Cormier and an unassisted marker from Howe. Noren added two helpers in the period.
Spokane tied the game 2:24 into the third period before Pastro gave the Vipers the lead at 4:05. The Chiefs forced overtime on a goal from Stuart Carruthers at 11:30.
The gamesheet shows Owen Ames scoring the winner for the Chiefs, beating Seibel on a powerplay nine seconds into overtime.
The Vipers won the Tier 2 Division of KIBIHT in 2016.