Another tournament, another gold medal. So it goes for the Vernon Coca-Cola Vipers.
The Vipers ran their record to 32-0 by clipping the Dawson Creek Canucks 3-2 in Sunday’s shootout final of the 10-team West Kelowna Midget Tier 2 Invitational Hockey Tournament at Royal LePage Place. Vernon has won four tournaments this season.
Dawson Creek scored on their opening shootout attempt on a nifty deke around goalie Koltin Dodge. Gavin Fleck cranked a shot off the left post as the Vipers’ first shooter. Fleck struck three posts in regulation.
Dodge stops the next Canuck shooter and Cole Johnson goes forehand-backhand upstairs for the go-ahead goal. KT Walters follows and converts on a beautiful move. Dodge made the final decisive save. Walters took game MVP.
Cory Lazar opened Vernon’s offence in regulation on a nice give-and-go with Fleck. Captain Tyson Sampert converted early in the third period on a beauty three-way passing play with Fleck and Lazar. Dawson Creek levelled the score with eight minutes remaining.
The Vipers shut down Smithers 6-0 earlier Sunday with Dodge earning MVP and clutch goals coming from Fleck and Johnson and two assists from Zayne Hanke.
The Coke crew grounded Fort St. John 8-1 in preliminary action with MVP Jacob Brewer supplying 2+2 and Ethan Joe producing 1+2 in front of Jaden Foster and Dodge.
The Vipers iced Quesnel 3-1 on snipes from Mason Robinson, Joe and Walters. Russ Borrett pocketed two helpers for MVP in the physical affair. Dodge went the distance in net.
Vernon shut out Revelstoke 4-0 with Fleck scoring twice for MVP and Borrett bagging 1+2 in front of Foster.
The Sun Valley Source for Sports Vipers shelled South Okanagan 6-1 in Bantam Tier 3 league play Saturday at Kal Tire Place and then smothered visiting Cranbrook 16-1 in a Sunday exhibition.
Nolan Thomas provided 2+1 versus South Okanagan with Bennett Kuhnlein and Chris Reinhardt each adding 1+1 and Cody Beckner and Reilly Teager rounding out the attack in support of Teja Sheldrake. Bryce Lauer, John Spraggs, Jonathan Finlayson, Max Stewart and Chris Bond earned clutch assists.
The Vipers are now preparing for their final tournament of the season this weekend in Chilliwack.
The H&L Glass Jr. Vipers bowed 10-8 to the Penticton Veeds in Atom Development play Sunday at Kal Tire Place.
Teigan Kelley pulled the hat trick, while Ollie Reid dialed a deuce and singles went to William Heighway, Oliver Murray and Lynden Tung.
“We need to play 60 minutes” said H&L coach Ryan Reid. “Unfortunately, you can’t just flick a switch and expect to win in the final minutes. I saw some flashes of great things, but we need to put them all together for a 60-minute effort.”