Tigers take 2-0 series lead
Morning Star Staff
One team with the most powerful offence in the league. The other tops on defence. On paper, a fan-friendly championship final.
The defensive-leading Vernon Source For Sports Tigers stopped the first-place Kamloops Venom 11-9 before 350 fans Monday night at Kal Tire Place.
Vernon took the best-of-five Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League final series opener 10-7 Saturday night at Memorial Arena. Game 3 goes tonight in Kamloops. A fourth game, if required, will go Friday night in Vernon.
“We put in systems and processes that we’ve been running and tweaking the last three years and these guys just know it and they execute it very well,” said Vernon head coach Myles Brumpton.
“Our short man were just lights out. Our ball raggers on special teams ragged three penalties right out and when we do that, we run their guys into the ground.”
The Tigers (13-1-2) and Venom (14-1-1) earn automatic spots in the provincials, here, August long week and Vernon wants to win the league playoff crown before hosting the big tournament.
“That’s been the mind-set from the coaching staff,” said Brumpton. “The coaches have done an excellent job getting these guys ready. We do want to earn our right to get in there (provincials).”
Brady Jorgensen, who has move moves than Jagger, put Kamloops up just a dozen seconds in Monday night. The 66-goal man finished with 2+3, including a late goal which made it 10-9 Vernon.
Ryan Sarazin buried insurance into an empty net with 16 seconds left after Jorgensen was forced to hold Sarazin on a breakaway with no goalie in the crease.
Blaine Boomer blasted a shot off the crossbar behind Vernon goalie Aaron Jensen with 37 seconds remaining.
The Venom were fuming when officials didn’t rule a penalty after the Tigers had six players and the Venom seven on the floor in the late going.
Darrell Landels and Sarazin each pulled the hat trick and one helper for the Tigers, who chased starter Mitch Horsemen art 3:35 of the third period.
Jordan Orr pocketed 2+2, while Connor Buick also supplied two goals and captain Brett Hanna produced 1+4.
First star Kyle Pauwels pocketed 6+3 for Kamloops, while Riley Peterson provided 1+4. Jorgensen, Peterson and Pauwels accounted for 124 regular-season goals.
“It’s nice to be up 2-0 in the series,” said Tigers’ defensive specialist Bayne Bosquet. “I thought we just came out and gave it our all and came out with the W. I just think we’re a deeper team. We use all our lines and that’s what’s working for us.
“I’d love to win my way into the provincials and not just have a bye in there. It’s a battle out there and I think there’s a good rivalry between the two teams. We’ve played against most of the same kids in minor so you develop battles growing up.”
Added Landels, who says both teams are chirping and playing hard: “It’s awesome to win the first two games of the series. It puts us in a really good position for our next couple of games in case we come up short in our next game. We came out and we knew what we had to do against these guys and we definitely picked it up in this series.”
Jerome Thorne of the Venom was assessed a misconduct for verbal abuse with seconds remaining. The Kamloops coaching staff rudely refused The Morning Star access to player interviews.
In Kamloops, Landels counted all four of his goals in the third period, and set up another. Mitchell Anderson contributed 2+2, while Bosquet bagged 1+2 and other goals came from Jay Seaton, Sarazin and call-up Steele Pelletier.
The Venom got two goals from Jorgensen, 1+3 from Boomer, 1+2 from Peterson and a single from Pauwels.