By: MORNING STAR STAFF Apr. 24, 2018 4:22 p.m.LOCAL SPORTS
Veteran Jake Pelletier scored three times and set up four others as the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers kicked off the 2018 Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League season by going into Kamloops and thumping the reigning champion Venom 13-7 Saturday.
Vernon held period leads of 4-3 and 7-6 before outscoring the champs 6-1 in the final 20 minutes to make Ryan Minchenko a winner is his debut as Tigers’ head coach.
Tigers rookie Kaden Doughty scored twice and added an assist while veteran snipers Jordy Barr and reigning league MVP Brett Olson also chipped in two goals. Singles went to Eric Reid, Steele Pelletier, Kael Black and Thomas Landels. Caden Colmorgen produced two assists.
Vernon outshot Kamloops 50-44 with Kyle McIntosh getting the win in net.
The Shamrocks play their home opener Friday against Kamloops, 7:30 p.m., at the Nor-Val Sports Centre. The Tigers visit South Okanagan Monday.
In Thompson Okanagan Bantam B action at the Nor-Val Sports Centre, Bradley Scabar scored his third unassisted goal with 1:22 remaining to lift the North Okanagan Legends to a 5-4 win over Kamloops.
Ethan Lucin and Chayton Marchand had the other goals for the Legends while Kal-Lee Bonneau registered an assist.
By: Vernon Tigers Junior Lacrosse Club
Was a bit of a slow start in Kamloops at old memorial for the first game of the TOJLL regular season and the Kamloops Venom home opener. Both teams were a bit nervous going in but the rivalry didn't take long to get back into full swing on the floor and in the stands. :)
Nice to see the new commissioner Guy Charron come to the dressing room, introduce himself, and discuss his vision of fair play. I heard from a few that his short speach fired up the boys.
4-3 Tigers after the first period of play,7-6 Tigers after two periods of play and a final of 13-6 for your Vernon Tigers who won an important one tonight.
Congratulations to Ryan Minchenko on his first win as the head coach.
Shout out to #11 Brett Olsen with 2G1A, to #9 rookie Kaden Doughty who bagged his first goal as a Jr and finished his night with 2G1A, to #7 Jordy Barr with 2G1A,and to #5 Conor Webb with 3A.
Hot rod of the night you ask? Ya no question #22 Jake "the snake" Pelletier with an impressive 7 point night finishing with 3G4A. Absolutely on fire tonight.
Defensive players of the night go to #80 Reed Cashato who I thought was key on the back end and to #44 Thomas Landels who almost killed an entire penalty himself, ragging the ball while under a whole bunch of pressure.
Should recognize our goalie #00 Kyle Mcintosh who faced 44 shots. We took some questionable penalties, have some work to do but overall a good performance for this young lacrosse club
KEVIN MITCHELL Apr. 17, 2018 3:45
They got most of their rookies some floor time and used both goaltenders while winning three times in the 13th Archie Jack Memorial Junior B Lacrosse Ice Breaker Saturday in Armstrong.
First-year head coach Ryan Minchenko liked most of what he witnessed from the Vernon Source For Sports Tigers at Nor-Val Sports Centre.
“We’re a pretty deep team,” said Minchenko, a 31-year-old carpenter and father of two. “We only lost three players from last year. We have some rookies like Kaden Doughty and Jacob Brewer pushing the veterans for sure. We’ve got lots of athleticism. The biggest takeaway (from the Ice Breaker) is that we need to move the ball more effectively. We had lots of dropped balls. We need to clean that up and that’s our (coaches) job.”
Minchenko, a 2004 Fulton grad, played five years with the Tigers before joining the Senior Vernon Royals. He helped head coach Chris Scabar last year and will be assisted by Casey Sherriff and Braden Barr.
The Tigers grounded the Armstrong Shamrocks 7-5 Saturday morning before dispatching the South Okanagan Flames 8-5 in a matinee tilt. Vernon toppled the defending Thompson Okanagan league champion Kamloops Venom 8-5 in the final of the four-team affair.
Armstrong doused the Flames 6-3 in the consolation final. The teams played three 15-minute running periods in each game.
Jordy Barr, who was injured much of last season, supplied four goals as the Tigers defeated the Venom. Eric Reid, with 1+2, and fellow vets Thomas Landels, Steele Pelletier and Thomas Mackiewich also converted.
Conor Webb and Reid also pocketed a deuce as the Tigers stopped the Irish, while Jake Pelletier fired two goals against Armstrong. The Shamrocks got 1+2 from Brayden Hoggarth.
Doughty and Barr each rang up 1+2 versus South Okanagan. Kyle McIntosh and Jordie Scherck split the Vernon netminding in all three tilts.
The Tigers open the regular season Saturday night in Kamloops, while the Shamrocks visit the Flames Monday night.
Marty Hastings / Kamloops This Week APRIL 12, 2018 03:03 PM
Former Kamloops Blazers’ head coach Guy Charron has taken over as commissioner for the tier 1 junior B Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League (TOJLL).
The league has never been short on fiery personalities and hot-button issues — and this year is no different.
Last October, the B.C. Lacrosse Association voted to dissolve the province’s intermediate A and B leagues and create a three-tier junior B system, with all leagues being composed of players ages 17 to 21. The decision passed by a vote of 63-6.
The BCLA directorate members who voted in favour of the move envisioned a system in which former intermediate A squads would become tier 1 teams, junior B teams from 2017 would become tier 2 squads and intermediate B outfits would become tier 3 teams.
Ontario runs a five-year junior program and the BCLA is aiming to build a similar system.
“It’s a long time coming and a great idea,” New West junior A president Walt Weaver told the Burnaby Now in October. “The junior B program will be a true feeder program for the junior A team and players have an opportunity to spend five years together, as they do in Ontario.”
The West Coast Junior Lacrosse League (WCJLL) and Pacific Northwest Lacrosse League (PNWLL) have hopped on board, but the third B.C. Junior B Lacrosse League, the TOJLL, is having none of it.
Governors of the Kamloops Venom, Vernon Tigers, Armstrong Shamrocks and South Okanagan Flames of Penticton declared the TOJLL a tier 1 league.
“They wanted to take all of our top players from all of the Interior and they would have had to play down on the Coast,” Venom governor Carol Pittman said. “The [Okanagan] Wild was fine as a two-year program. Our younger players would come back to us when they get older.”
The Okanagan Wild were granted a 16- to 18-year-old B.C. Intermediate A Lacrosse League franchise last season and governor/general manager Martin Gardner was looking forward to jumping into the tier 1 junior B ranks this season.
He was forced to fold the team when the TOJLL declared tier 1.
“We needed co-operation from the junior Bs from last year and for them to become more of a development league, but they are not willing to do that,” Gardner said. “It was a battle we couldn’t win. We would need to call up tier 2 players to play at this level.
“The Wild is simply on hold. Hopefully, when their eyes open, we can come back. A lot of players are going to go play at the Lower Mainland again.”
Guy Charron, formerly head coach of the WHL's Kamloops Blazers, is the commissioner of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League.
“At this point, I’m supporting our governors,” said Charron, who replaced former TOJLL commissioner Dan Wray.
“I felt I’ll support what you guys want, but I don’t know if we should be tier 1 or tier 2. For me, with no experience, I’ll support what our governors want, but it brought a conflict with BCLA.”
It is unclear if the TOJLL champion will advance to a provincial championship, as the league seems marooned in the Okanagan, operating at arm’s length from the WCJLL and PNWLL.
The TOJLL became a four-team league when the Kelowna Raiders announced they cannot find enough players to floor a competitive team in 2018.
“We’re hoping we can help Kelowna somehow,” Pittman said. “We really want Kelowna back. They have like double our population.”
In 2017, the Raiders were outscored 206-52, forfeited three games and finished 0-16.
“It was a tough loss to lose Kelowna, but you don’t want teams that are so inferior,” Charron said, noting he would like to see the Raiders return to the league in the future.
“You want a league to attract fans and be competitive.”
By:Mario Bartel / Tri-City News October 26, 2017 02:37 PM
A new structure for junior lacrosse in B.C. will create better opportunities for young players to develop their game, but it won’t make it any more likely for the province’s Junior A teams to win a Minto Cup national championship.
That’s the assessment by the president of the Coquitlam Jr. Adanacs, James Abbott, after the directors of the B.C. Lacrosse Association recently voted to replace intermediate divisions with a five-year tiered junior B program that can keep players together from when they’re 17 years-old until they’re 21.
Abbott said the new system of three tiers of Junior B lacrosse will give players graduating from local midget programs more options to develop according to their aspirations and level of commitment. A top tier Junior B division will replace the current intermediate model, while a second tier replaces the previous Junior B division. Depth players would play in the third tier.
“They’ll be able to go at their own pace,” said Abbott.
That means young players graduating from midget lacrosse will be more likely to stay in the game, said the president of the BC Junior A Lacrosse League, Karl Christiansen.
“Many people haven’t realized that on the Island and Mainland, 17 and 18 year olds would graduate from midget and either play or quit after 18 because they had nowhere to go, teams weren’t competitive, or they had no connection to their Junior B team,” Christiansen said. “Players graduating out of midget can play Junior A all the way to Junior B tier three.”
The change also aligns the structure of junior lacrosse across B.C. with the rest of the country, which should make the province’s top Junior B teams competitive again for the Founder’s Cup national championship. No team from B.C. has ever won that trophy, and it’s been 10 years since one reached the final, when the Coquitlam Adanacs lost to Six Nations in Kamloops.
Reg Thompson, the president of the Port Coquitlam Saints Junior A team, said keeping players together for five years will improve the level of lacrosse throughout the junior ranks.
“It gives all these kids a chance to fit in,” Thompson said. “They are together all the time, they play together, practice together, they just get to know what the other guy is doing. You learn more if you’re together longer.”
Abbott said while the new structure may polish some diamonds in the rough for promotion to Junior A teams, its main benefit will be to bring much-needed depth to Junior B programs.
“In the Junior B league there was some good players but there wasn’t any depth, there’s no development happening,” Abbott said. “This will make a much stronger league.”
Harold Corbett, the senior directorate chair for the BC Lacrosse Association, agrees.
“This should help all of our tiers get stronger, evening out competitions throughout the five-year program,” Corbett said in an open letter to all junior lacrosse leagues in the province.
Christiansen said there’s already been interest expressed by two organizations to create new tier three teams, adding “it will be new clubs formed and not attrition or just taking a team’s place.”
Thompson said the change has been percolating for years, but it was never implemented because it was perceived as a top-down initiative dictated by the Junior A leagues. This time the impetus came from the Junior B level.
“We’re trying to make the game better,” he said.
A sentiment shared by the Adanacs’ Abbott.
“It’s going to be a really awesome thing for lacrosse, I think.”
Corbett said the timing is right, “I am sure if we had stayed status quo, we would still be discussing these same problems 10 years from now.”
Instead, he foresees the possible eventual formation of a fourth tier as more players stay in the game.
“Hopefully we will be able to grow out system down,” he said.
How the new structure will look: