Emma Elders’ breakaway goal late in the second period proved to be the game-winner as the Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs doubled the Idaho Jr. Steelheads 6-3 at the 45th annual Coca-Cola Classic Pee Wee Hockey Tournament at the Vernon Civic Arena.
Elders, whose father, Jason, holds the Vernon junior hockey franchise record for most goals in a season (67), snuck behind the Steelheads defence, took a sweet pass from Ronac Chauhan and beat goalie Cade Corbin top-shelf stick-side to give Vernon a 4-3 lead.
The goal came a minute after Zackary Funk tied the game for the Mustangs, who are 2-0 after opening the tournament with a 12-0 romp over the Calgary Glenlake Hawks.
Jacob Boden, with his second of the game, and Connor Elliott added third-period insurance goals for the Mustangs. Isaac Thomas had the other Vernon goal.
The Mustangs take on the Dawson Creek Canucks at 5:30 p.m. at the Civic Arena. A win will clinch the Coca-Cola Division for Vernon, and result in a 12:30 p.m. championship side semifinal Saturday.
Elsewhere on opening day, in the Coca-Cola Division, the Steelheads whipped the Canucks 11-3, with Dawson Creek rebounding to beat Calgary 8-2.
In the Sun Valley Division, the St. Albert (Alta). Sabres edged the Nelson Leafs 4-3 in overtime on a goal from Ryese Richards, and the Alaska Fairbanks Arctic Lions defeated the Fort St. John Flyers 7-2.