The North Zone Kings bid farewell to cherished Civic Arena in style Saturday.
After local recording artist John Noren sang the national anthem, the Kings went out and thumped the Thompson Blazers 7-1 in Okanagan Mainline Midget Tier 1 Hockey League action.
“Many of these boys have played all of their minor hockey at the Civic and with this being their final game at the old barn, we felt it only appropriate for John Noren to open with the anthem,” said KIngs’ media director Rob Eggert.
The Kings (8-6-2) opened the offence early in the second period when Dylan Huber buried a shot short side, bar down, from call-up Mason Robinson. Within minutes, captain Joe Eggert tapped in a rebound from Eric Noren’s shot with Lucas Wood earning the other assist.
Shortly after, Noren buried a wrister from the hash marks, assisted by Lee Christensen. Damian Coljee-Fehr then rushed ip ice and fed Nic Teale back door for an easy tap-in.
Eggert then delivered a nifty pass from behind the net to Christensen for a one timer to complete the second-period attack. Noren picked up the secondary assist.
Caden Bracken connected in the third from call-up KT Walters and Wood before Walters went short side, bar down, from Bracken. The Blazers fell to 4-8-4.
Said Vernon head coach Jarred Barendregt: “With the two call-ups, it was our first time in a while we’ve been able to run three full lines up front. It was great to see Walters and Robinson fit right in and contribute on the scoreboard. This was a nice way to close out the Civic.”
The North Zone Kings brushed back the South Zone 7-6 in Bantam Tier 1 action Sunday at Penticton Memorial Arena.
Blueliner Nolan Mathews converted the winner with 3:01 to play. D-man Jace Weir and Austin Roest earned the assists.
Nick Noren pocketed 1+2 for the Kings, who got other snipes from Korbin Forsyth, Matthew Johnston, Derek Teare and Darius Makse. Weir finished with two assists for the 4-14-3 KIngs. The South Zone dipped to 13-6-2.
The Coca-Cola Midget Tier 3 Vipers squeaked out a couple of shutout wins to run their record to 45-0 on the season.
The Vipers shut down the host Merritt Centennials 3-0 Saturday thanks to a stellar 36-save showing by Jordan Foster.
Vernon opened the scoring in the second period after a scoreless first on Gavin Fleck’s tally from Walters. The Vipers narrowly held the lead through 40 minutes.
Walters doubled the lead at the nine-minute mark of the third with the assist going to AP Jackson Collard. D-man Zayne Hanke completed the scoring by blasting a point shot off a Merritt defender’s stick as the puck popped up and eventually over the stunned Merritt netminder. Assists went to Walters and Collard.
The Coke crew grounded Clearwater 2-0 Sunday at Kal Tire Place with Koltin Dodge registering the shutout.
D-man Russell Borett got the Snakes on the board at 2:28 of the first with a wrister from the high slot over the blocker after the Vipers held the line on a long sustained offensive-zone shift with assists from Corey Lazar and Walters.
Clearwater had several chances to level the score with Dodge standing tall and stopping a breakaway in the dying minutes of the first. Clearwater kept up the offensive pressure in the second stanza hitting the post and creating multiple opportunities. Hanke sidestepped a Merritt forward at the blueline to keep the puck in the offensive zone and fed Walters, who ripped a shot low blocker just under three minutes into the third frame for insurance,
“The boys had to work hard for these two wins,” said Vernon head coach Casey Sherriff. “Teams are gunning for us and bringing their best games. Now it’s up to us to elevate our game and start playing playoff hockey for the rest of the season”