Flames burn Vernon Tigers to clinch lacrosse semi-final series

The South Okanagan Flames will be playing in the Thompson-Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League finals

By: KRISTI PATTON, Penticton Western News: Jul. 11, 2019 9:47 a.m.LOCAL SPORTSSPORTS

Image: South Okanagan Flames player Carson Shortreed fends off a Vernon Tigers player in their semi-final playoff series game on Wednesday in Oliver. The Flames defeated the Tigers 10-8 to move on to the league finals. (Brennan Phillips — Western News)

For the first time in their franchise history, the South Okanagan Flames will be playing in the Thompson-Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League finals.

The Flames defeated the Vernon Tigers 10-8 on Wednesday evening in Oliver, clinching the semi-final playoff series. They now move to the finals where they will face the Kamloops Venom.

“It feels great. We have never made it this far in this league before, so it is awesome. We are going to ride it high for the night,” said Flames captain Jake Macleod.

“I have no worries moving forward, I just want the boys to go out there and work hard and hopefully we can come out with three wins in the Kamloops series.”

Knotted 4-4 after the first period, the Flames took command of the game in the middle frame. Flames goaltender Connor Ramage kept the Tigers to just one goal, which came off the stick of Kael Black. Offensively the Flames put another four goals on the scoreboard thanks to Logan Cote, Cairo Rogers, Alex Nimmo and Liam McClaren.

While the Tigers pounced back in the third period to keep it a tight match on the scoresheet, the Flames were able to keep them at bay.

“All season it was back and forth with these guys. I think, finally, we just figured it out in the playoffs how to work together and play our own game and not let them completely take over,” said Flames forward Liam McLaren.

Tigers coach Ryan Minchenko said their offence simply came up short.

“The other team moved the ball really well and their goaltending was outstanding. At the end of the day, they just outplayed us. I think they know that, we know that and for our guys it is a tough pill to swallow,” he said.

For the Flames, it has been a long march in their franchise history to finally get to the league championship — 11 playoff series’ and 20 seasons to be exact.

“It is a great feeling. They earned it this year. It wasn’t easy but we made it. Vernon gave us a good challenge in the first and last game here,” said coach Craig Macleod.

The best-of-five finals start in Kamloops on Friday July 12. Other games will be played on July 14 and 16 and, if necessary, July 18 and 20.

In seven regular season match-ups, the Venom have the upper-hand winning six of them. The lone Flames victory over the Venom came in their last game of the regular season, an 18-10 win.

“I think our defence has been pretty strong and we have had strong goaltending. We really rely on those guys on the back end. On the front end, we have to get them to keep their feet moving and get in tight and close. We need to cut through the greasy zones and do what we can to score,” said the Flames coach on what they will need to do in the final series to be successful.

South Okanagan Flames force junior lacrosse clincher

Flames roll into Vernon and even best-of-three TOJLL semifinal by mauling the Tigers 16-4


Image: TAlex Nimmo of the South Okanagan Flames had time to make seven stick dekes before depositing his eighth one behind Vernon goalie Derek Perebook during the Flames’ 16-4 win in Game 2 of the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s best-of-three- semifinal Monday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. Nimmo finished the night with six goals and five assists. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

One game, winner-take-all, on to the league final.

That’s what up for grabs Wednesday night at the Oliver Arena.

The South Okanagan Flames forced a third and deciding game in their Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League semifinal by whipping the hometown Vernon Tigers 16-4 Monday at Kal Tire Place in Vernon.

The win snapped a 10-game league playoff semifinal losing streak for the Flames against the Tigers.

Nursing a 3-1 lead after 20 minutes, the Flames erupted in the middle period, scorching Vernon for nine unanswered goals before the Tigers got two late ones to make it 12-3 South Okanagan after 40 minutes.

The Tigers scored three minutes into the final frame but the Flames squelched any thought of a remarkable comeback by scoring two goals 24 seconds apart just 2:05 later.

Alex Nimmo had a fabulous night for the Flames, scoring six times and adding five assists for an 11-point night. Liam McLaren had four goals and added two helpers while Logan Cote also got in on the multiple goals with three, and an equal amount of assists.

Zander Torres (three assists), Cairo Rogers and Carson Shortreed also scored for South Okanagan, who got a 42-save performance from goalie Connor Ramage.

Conor Webb, Kael Black, Drayden Harshenin and Chase Wirth scored for the Tigers, while Stephane Richard added three assists and hit three goalposts behind Ramage.

Vernon lost starting netminder Quintin Fisk to a lower body injury in the second period, and was replaced by Derek Pereboom. The pair combined to make 43 saves. South Okanagan scored on their first shots on both goalies on the night.

Fisk got bowled over out of his crease in the first period by the Flames’ Colin McGregor, a move that did not sit well with Vernon’s towering netminder and a couple of other Tigers, who tried to get at McGregor. The South OK forward received a two-minute roughing minor on the play.

McGregor was then leveled late in the game by Richard, who received a five-minute unnecessary roughness major penalty. McGregor was slow to get to his feet but left the floor under his own steam.

There was one fight, a spirited scrap between Webb and Fred Harbinson.

Wednesday’s winner will travel to Kamloops for Game 1 of the league’s best-of-five final Friday against the regular-season champion Venom.

Vernon Tigers strike first in TOJLL semifinal

Vernon beats South Okanagan Flames 10-6 in Oliver; can wrap series at home Monday


In the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s regular season, the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers managed just a win and a draw against the South Okanagan Flames.

In the post-season, the Tigers are one-for-one.

Vernon went to the Oliver Arena – new summer home for the Flames – Saturday night and stunned South Okanagan 10-6 in the opening game of the league’s best-of-three semifinal.

It was the 10th consecutive loss to Vernon by the Flames in semifinal play. Vernon has swept each of the last three semifinal meetings, which were then best-of-five affairs.

Game 2 is Monday, 7:30 p.m., at Kal Tire Place in Vernon. If a third game is needed, it will be back in Oliver Wednesday evening.

Tigers veteran Chase Wirth, who celebrated his 20th birthday Friday, scored three times, all in the third period, and chipped in two assists to pace the winners. Stephane Richard also had a five-point night with 2+3.

Brett Olsen had two goals before being tossed in the second period for a checking from behind game misconduct. Conor Webb and Kael Black each had 1+2 and Thomas Mackiewich rounded out the scoring.

Colby Kokonis and Jacob Brewer each added two assists for Vernon, who got a stellar 45-save performance in goal from Quintin Fisk.

Alex Nimmo had four goals for the Flames, who trailed 3-1 and 7-4 by periods. Logan Coté and Ben Olsen had the other goals for South Okanagan. Connor Ramage made 35 saves in net.

The winner of this series faces the league champion Kamloops Venom in the best-of-five final starting Friday, July 12 in Kamloops.

Vernon Tigers limp into TOJLL playoffs

Reigning champs fall 14-4 in Kamloops to finish 3-10-1; will face South Okanagan in semifinal


Image: The Kamloops Venom whipped the Vernon Tigers 14-4 in Kamloops Sunday to put a wrap on the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s regular season. The Tigers will face the South Okanagan Flames in a best-of-three league semifinal starting July 8 in Penticton. (Black Press - file photo)

The Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers will have a chance to prove a dismal regular season means nothing if they can get their act together in the playoffs.

The defending Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League champions finished off one of their most disappointing regular seasons in recent memory, bowing 14-4 to the pennant-winning Venom in Kamloops Sunday.

Vernon finished 3-10-1 for third place in the three-team loop, and will play the South Okanagan Flames (6-7-1) in the league semifinal. The best-of-three series starts Saturday, July 6, in Penticton, with Game 2 at Kal Tire Place on Monday, July 8 (7:30 p.m. start). Should a third game be needed, it would be Wednesday, July 10, in Penticton.

Vernon was 1-5-1 against the Flames in the regular season. The Venom (11-3) take on the winner in a best-of-five league championship.

Former Armstrong Junior Shamrock Drew Bannister led Kamloops Sunday with four goals and three assists. The Venom held period leads of 6-1 and 9-1.

Conor Webb and Jake Pelletier each scored twice for the Tigers, who played Sunday with just 14 runners. Kamloops outshot Vernon 54-46 with Reed Watson picking up the win in the Kamloops goal. Derek Pereboom was tagged with the loss.

South Okanagan Flames clinch home advantage for lacrosse playoffs

The South Okanagan Flames defeated the Vernon Tigers


Image: South Okanagan Flames lacrosse player Zander Torres (right) tries to out-maneuver a Vernon Tigers player during game action on Monday night at Memorial Arena. The Flames won the game 12-7 and next play on June 21 at home. (Cherie Morgan photo

The South Okanagan Flames secured home court advantage for the first round of the Thompson-Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League playoffs with a 12-7 win over Vernon Tigers on Monday.

The Flames jumped out to a 7-0 lead after the first period after both teams found themselves in some penalty trouble as things heated up.

Carson Shortreed, who sits third in the league overall in goals with 18, put in a pair for the Flames and singles came from Logan Cote, Cairo Rogers, Ethan Konno, Zander Torres and Aiden Danby.

The Tigers slowly started to claw back winning the second period as fights and game misconducts continued to be served to both sides.

The Tigers’ Conor Webb scored two in the middle frame and Drayden Harshenin added a single. They kept the Flames to two goals (Keagan Allen and Danby) on the scoreboard.

The third period also belonged to the Tigers who produced four goals (Kaden Doughty, Kael Black and Jake Pelletier with two) and managed to once again keep the Flames offence at bay holding them to just three (Shortreed, Alex Nimmo and Sam Gabriel).

The Flames face the number one team in the league, the Kamloops Venom, on Friday at Memorial Arena. The Flames have yet to defeat the Venom, who have secured the regular season league title, so far this season in six matchups. Game time is 7:30 p.m.

Vernon closes out its regular season schedule with a road date in Kamloops Sunday.

Kamloops Venom rally past Vernon Tigers

Down 5-2 after five minutes, the Venom settled down and scored 17-11 TOJLL win


For the first five minutes Wednesday night, the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers looked liked they were well on their way to a third-straight Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League victory.


The Kamloops Venom, who gave up five goals to the Tigers in the first five minutes, and trailed 7-4 after the opening period, outscored Vernon 13-4 the rest of the way to record a 17-11 in Vernon’s regular season home finale at Kal Tire Place.

Jordan Bunce paced the Kamloops comeback, scoring six times for the first-time ever as a junior, with five of the goals coming in the middle frame when the Venom outscored the Tigers 7-2 to take an 11-9 lead.

After Jake Pelletier gave Vernon a 9-7 lead at 11:53 of of the second period, the Venom scored the next 10 goals before Kaden Doughty, with his fourth of the night at 14:15 of the third, stopped the bleeding for the Tigers.

Doughty, with a pair, and Brett Olsen with three, staked the Tigers to a 5-2 lead after just 4:58 of action in the opening period.

Drew Bannister collected a goal and six assists for Kamloops while Chris Finden, Callum Gorman (four assists) and Nathan Fraser each scored twice. Ethan Milobar made 33 saves and added a pair of assists for the Venom (9-2), who have clinched first place and receive a bye into the league’s best-of-five final.

Derek Pereboom made 46 saves for Vernon (3-8-1), who will play the South Okanagan Flames (4-6-1) in the best-of-three semifinals. Vernon closes out the regular season with games in Penticton and Kamloops, and need to win both and have the Flames drop their remaining three games to have home floor advantage.

Vernon scored its first win over the Flames this season Monday in Penticton, taking the game 9-6.

The Tigers led 4-0 after one on two goals from Olsen and singles from Stephane Richard and Jacob Brewer. The Flames cut the deficit to 5-4 after 40 minutes (Richard with Vernon’s goal) before the Tigers put the game away in the third with Richard adding two more and singles from Conor Webb and Doughty.

Vernon Tigers snap winless skid

Hometown Tigers beat league-leading Kamloops Venom 10-6 in TOJLL play at Kal Tire Place

By: orning Star StaffJun. 9, 2019 11:30 a.m.Local SportsSports

Image: Vernon Tigers goalie Quintin Fisk moves cross-crease to stop a backdoor shot by Mason Suppanz of the Kamloops Venom during the Tigers’10-6 Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League win Saturday at Kal Tire Place. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers held the league-best Kamloops Venom to two goals over the final 40 minutes and prevented their arch-rivals from clinching first place in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League Saturday.

Quintin Fisk made 49 saves, and Kaden Doughty scored twice and added five assists to lead the Tigers to a 10-6 win. The victory moved Vernon (2-7-1) to within four points of second-place South Okanagan Flames. The two teams play Monday in Penticton.

Both of Vernon’s wins have been against the Venom (8-2), who only need one more point in their final four games to clinch the regular season title and earn a bye into the league’s best-of-five championship.

Brett Olsen and Conor Webb each had three goals for Vernon, who never trailed against Kamloops, holding period leads of 6-4 and 7-5. Stephane Richard and Drayden Harshenin rounded out the Tigers’ scoring.

Nolan Fraser paced the Venom with a pair of unassisted breakaway goals.

Fisk took a shot directly to the head in the second period and was down for a couple of minutes on the floor but stayed in the game.

Reed Watson made 35 saves for the Venom. Vernon plays its final regular season home game Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. against Kamloops.

South Okanagan Flames continue season mastery of Vernon Tigers

Flames score twice in final minute to post 12-10 TOJLL win at Kal Tire Place


Image: South Okanagan Flames forward Cairo Rogers beats Vernon Tigers goalie Derek Pereboom for one of his four goals on the night as the Flames defeated the hometown Tigers 12-10 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action Wednesday. (Roger Knox - Black Press)

Only once in their history entering the 2019 Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League season had the South Okanagan Flames beaten the Tigers in Vernon.

They doubled that output Wednesday night.

The Flames completed a regular season road sweep of the Tigers, scoring a 12-10 win at Kal Tire Place. South Okanagan went 2-0-1 in Vernon and are 4-0-1 against the defending champs with two meetings left, both at the Penticton Memorial Arena.

Jake Macleod’s powerplay goal at 19:07 of the third broke a 10-10 tie, and Fred Harbinson locked away the win with an empty net goal with 13 seconds remaining.

Cairo Rogers scored four times for the Flames, including three in the first period, and Alex Nimmo scored on the game’s first shot 20 seconds after the national anthem as the Flames led 5-4.

They extended the edge to 8-4 with three goals in the first five minutes of the second period before the Tigers roared back with four straight to make the game 8-8 heading into the third period.

Vernon took its only lead of the night two minutes into the final frame on an unassisted goal by Kaden Doughty, who had four markers in the game. Rogers tied the game at 7:49 of the period.

Macleod gave South Okanagan a 10-9 lead at 17:21 with the teams playing four-on-four when he picked up a loose ball that bounced over a Tigers defender in the Vernon zone, then put a shot through the legs of goalie Quintin Fisk.

Conor Webb tied the game with the goal of the night 44 seconds later, running down the left side then putting an over-the-shoulder shot into the top corner past a surprised Shaun Agostinho in the Flames goal.

Agostinho finished with 38 saves while Fisk and starter Derek Pereboom combined for 39 saves in goal for the Tigers. Fisk came in after the Flames made it 7-4 at the 4:33 mark of the second period.

South Okanagan (4-5-1) is now six points ahead of the Tigers (1-7-1) in the battle for second place, and home-floor advantage in the best-of-three league semifinal.

The Flames are seven points behind the front-running Kamloops Venom (8-1) who need only one point in their final five games to clinch first place and a bye into the league’s best-of-five final.

The Tigers, winless in six, host the Venom Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place. Vernon visits the Flames Monday.

South Okanagan Flames torch Vernon Tigers for 20

Down 5-1 early, Flames’ offence explodes over final 50 minutes in 20-13 TOJLL road victory


Image: Vernon Tigers forward Jordy Barr (7) scores one of his goals on the night from his knees during the Tigers’ 20-13 Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League loss to the South Okanagan Flames Saturday. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Good thing for the South Okanagan Flames lacrosse games are longer than 10 minutes.

Down 5-1 just 9:05 into Saturday’s Thompson Okanagan Junior League game in Vernon, the Flames collectively woke up and scored 19 times over the final 50 minutes on their way to an impressive 20-13 road victory over the Tigers.

The two teams play again Wednesday in Vernon (7:30 p.m., Kal Tire Place), though South Okanagan will host the league-leading Kamloops Venom prior to that Monday evening (7:30 p.m., Penticton Memorial Arena).

Vernon sniper Jordy Barr scored four times in the first nine minutes, helping Vernon build up a 5-1 lead but then the Flames’ Logan Cote answered back.

After pulling to within 5-2 on a Zander Torres powerplay goal, Cote scored three times on three shots in 38 seconds – believed to be a team record for fastest three goals – to tie the contest, and goals by Aiden Danby and Ethan Konno in the final 39 seconds of the period gave South Okanagan a 7-5 lead after 20 minutes.

The teams matched their first-period goal outputs in the middle frame, with the Flames taking a 14-10 lead into the dressing room. The Tigers had pulled to within a goal at 11-10 before South Okanagan scored three unanswered in the period’s final 2:13, and added another trifecta of goals in the first 10:41 of the final frame before Vernon replied.

Cote finished with five goals and six helpers for an 11-point night for the Flames (3-4-1). Torres had 4+4, Danby added 4+3, Chace Moog scored two shorthanded markers and added four assists while Carson Shortreed chipped in 2+3. The Flames scored four times with the man advantage.

Barr’s 6+3 night led the slumping defending champs (1-6-1, winless in five). Kaden Doughty added 2+5 while single goals went to Caden Colmorgen, Hayden Catt, Conor Webb, Kael Black and Ryan Sadorsky.

Shaun Agostinho made 26 saves to earn the win in net while Quintin Fisk and Derek Pereboom combined for 36 saves in the Tigers’ goal.

South Okanagan sits seven points back of the Venom (7-1-0) and are four points ahead of the Tigers. All three of South Okanagan’s wins have been against Vernon.

The regular season champion gets a bye to the final while the other two teams play a best-of-three semifinal.

South Okanagan Flames handle Vernon Tigers

Junior Lacrosse: Flames score seven in third for 12-7 victory over defending champs


Image: Black Press file photo

Last time they played, the South Okanagan Flames and Vernon Tigers combined for 34 goals in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play.

Things were different Monday in Penticton.

The hometown Flames scored seven times in the third period to pull away and defeat Vernon 12-7.

South Okanagan improved to 2-4-1 for five points, nine back of the front-running Kamloops Venom (7-1-0). The defending champion Tigers, winless in four, are 1-5-1 for three points.

The Flames are 2-0-1 against the Tigers this season.

Alex Nimmo led the home side with three goals and three assists as the Flames held period leads of 3-1 and 5-3. Carson Shortreed added 3+2 and Cairo Rogers scored a goal in each period. Ethan Konno had three assists.

Kaden Doughty, who had 12 points in the 17-17 draw against the Flames May 18 in Vernon, took over the league goal scoring league with three goals for the Tigers. Doughty has 19 goals on the year, one more than Armstrong’s Mykl Drabiuk of the Venom.

Jordy Barr returned after missing a number of games to work commitments, and scored a hat trick for the Tigers while Stephane Richard had the other goal.

Shaun Agostinho made 33 saves for the Flames to pick up the win in goal while Quintin Fisk had 27 saves for the Tigers.

The two teams meet again Saturday night in Vernon, 7:30 p.m., at Kal Tire Place.

Kamloops edges Vernon Tigers for home-and-home sweep

Venom build up 10-5 lead, hold on for 10-8 victory over Tigers in TOJLL play at Kal Tire Place


Image: Kamloops Venom goalie Reed Watson – wearing teammate Ethan Milobar’s jersey – makes an acrobatic stick save on Vernon Tigers sniper Jake Pelletier in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League play Wednesday at Kal Tire Place. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

The Kamloops Venom completed a Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League home-and-home series sweep with their arch-rival Vernon Tigers Wednesday, scoring a second straight 10-8 win at Kal Tire Place.

The last three meetings between the two squads have all ended 10-8 with Kamloops taking two of three, and the Venom have won three of the first four meetings between last year’s league finalists.

The reigning champion Tigers (1-4) jumped out to a 3-1 lead midway through the first period Wednesday on goals from Drayden Harshenin, Kaden Doughty and Liam Cyr.

The Venom (5-1) would reply with three unanswered goals before the end of the period, and scored a powerplay marker 30 seconds into the middle frame to take a 5-3 lead.

The Tigers got back to within a goal on the man advantage with Caden Colmorgen scoring, but Kamloops then rattled off five straight goals to take a 10-4 lead. Jake Pelletier scored a powerplay goal at 19:20 to make it 10-5 Venom after 40 minutes.

Doughty, Colmorgen and newly signed Stephane Richard scored for Vernon in the third to make the score close.

Armstrong’s Mykl Drabiuk scored twice for the Venom, as did Trey Dergousoff, who added three assists. Mason Suppanz also had two goals while Callum Gorman pocketed five assists.

Reed Watson was stellar in the Venom goal, making 38 saves, while Quintin Fisk stopped 43 in goal for Vernon.

Next action for both teams are home games against the South Okanagan Flames (1-2). The Tigers host the Flames Saturday, 7:30 p.m., at Kal Tire Place while South Okanagan will visit the Venom at the Kamloops Memorial Arena Thursday, May 23, 7:30 p.m.

Vernon Tigers fall to Kamloops

TOJLL: Kamloops scores six in first period, cruise to 10-8 win over arch-rivals Vernon Tigers


Image: Goalie Ethan Milobar made 49 saves as the hometown Kamloops Venom edged the shorthanded Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers 10-8 in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action Sunday at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.

The two rivals meet for a third straight time Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

The Venom have won two of the first three meetings, both at home, against the Tigers. The pair will play each other four more times before playoffs.

Kamloops roared out to a 6-1 lead after the first period, with the Tigers, who played the game with just 12 runners, outscoring Kamloops 4-2 in the middle frame to trail 8-5 heading into the third period.

Kaden Doughty led Vernon (1-3) with four goals, Brett Olsen and Kael Black had two goals each while Jake Pelletier, Jacob Brewer and Reed Cashato chipped in two assists each. Derek Pereboom made 40 stops in the Tigers goal.

Nolan Virgo scored three times for Kamloops (4-1) while Callum Gorman added a goal and six assists.

Vernon Tigers roar past Kamloops

Tigers win TOJLL home opener, 10-8, over arch-rivals


Image: Jake Pelletier of the Vernon Tigers (right) gets past Kamloops Venom captain Chace Jones in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action Saturday at Kal Tire Place. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Kaden Doughty’s fourth goal of the game snapped a 7-7 third-period tie, and lifted the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers to a 10-8 win over arch-rivals Kamloops Venom in the Tigers’ Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League home opener Saturday at Kal Tire Place.

Doughty’s goal came on a two-man advantage at 11:18 of the final frame. Jake Pelletier, shorthanded, and Caden Colmorgen added late goals for Vernon while Kordell Primus notched a short-handed marker in the final 30 seconds for Kamloops.

It was Vernon’s first win of the season as the defending champs improved to 1-2. Kamloops fell to 2-1.

The Tigers led 3-2 after 20 minutes with Daughty scoring all three goals for Vernon. Pelletier, Reed Cashato and Colmorgen scored in the second as Vernon took a 6-5 lead into the final period.

Kael Black with a powerplay breakaway marker extended Vernon’s lead to 7-5 1:06 into the third before the Venom rallied to tie the contest with powerplay goals less than two minutes apart.

Former Armstrong Junior Shamrock Mykl Drabiuk had two goals and an assist for the Venom before being tossed with the Tigers’ Mason Salway following a spirited third-period scrap.

Quintin Fisk picked up his first Tigers win in goal, making 37 saves while Ethan Milobar made 44 stops for the Venom.

The two teams meet again Sunday, May 12, in Kamloops, the front-end of a home-and-home series. Vernon hosts Kamloops Wednesday, May 15, at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

Vernon off to 0-2 start in TOJLL

Defending champion Tigers lose first two games, 14-9 in Kamloops, 17-15 in Penticton


Image: Jake Pelletier of the Vernon Tigers (left) looks for a clear shot past South Okanagan Flames player Sammy Gabriel during Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action on Monday at Penticton’s Memorial Arena. The Flames won the game 17-15. Next up for the Tigers is their home opener on May 4 versus the Kamloops Venom. (Brennan Phillips — Black Press)

A year ago, the Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers lost only once in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s regular season.

The reigning champs have already surpassed that total in 2019.

The Tigers are off to an 0-2 start, losing the home openers for the league’s two other teams, the South Okanagan Flames Monday in Penticton, 17-15, and the arch-rival Kamloops Venom 24 hours earlier, 14-9.

The difference Monday was the hometown Flames outscoring Vernon 6-4 in the second period.

Kaden Doughty, who missed Sunday’s contest in Kamloops, had five goals and three assists for the Tigers. Brett Olsen, Jake Pelletier (four assists) and Caden Colmorgen (three helpers) each added hat tricks while Kael Black added a single. Quintin Fisk made 41 saves in goal in his Tigers’ debut. Vernon has lost reigning league MVP, goalie Kyle McIntosh, to work commitments for 2019.

The Tigers’ season got off to a rocky start Sunday, as Vernon fell 14-9 to the Venom at the Kamloops Memorial Arena.

Venom sniper Callum Gorman had as many points as the Tigers did goals, collecting three markers and six assists, and Kamloops nearly scored as many goals in the middle frame – eight – as Vernon did over 60 minutes.

Tanner Koroluk also scored three times for the Venom while former Armstrong Shamrock Mykl Drabiuk added a pair.

Colmorgen (three assists) and Reed Cashato each scored twice for the Tigers, who led 3-1 after 20 minutes but fell behind 9-7 after two periods.

Single goals went to Chase Worth, Jacob Brewer, Pelletier, Olsen and Jordy Barr. Rookie Derek Pereboom made 50 saves for the Tigers while former North Okanagan Legends minor netminder Troy Cuzzetto made 31 saves. The two teams, who will play each other seven times in the three-team loop, meet again Saturday in the Tigers’ home opener at 7:30 p.m. at Kal Tire Place.

Okanagan lacrosse leagues ready for regular season

Vernon Tigers (x2), and Armstrong Shamrocks begin junior and senior league play this weekend

By: Morning Star Staff Apr. 25, 2019 9:30 a.m.Local Sports Sports

The Vernon Tigers and Kelowna Raiders mark their official return to the Thompson Okanagan Senior Lacrosse League by starting on the road.

The Tigers will visit the Kamloops Rattlers and the Raiders head up Highway 97A to the Nor-Val Sports Centre to take on the Armstrong Shamrocks. Both games are Friday night as the league kicks off its 2019 regular season. Both games start at 8 p.m.

Vernon makes its return to the league after a six-year absence while Kelowna comes back after a year off.

The Tigers, Shamrocks and Raiders took part in a mini icebreaker pre-season tournament in Armstrong, each team playing the other two in a pair of two-period, 20-minute running time games. Kelowna went 2-0, Armstrong 1-1 and the Tigers 0-2.

Armstrong, the defending league champion, has announced that veteran forward and leading scorer Brett Hawrys will return to the club for the 2019 season.

The Tigers’ home opener will be Friday, May 3, at 8 p.m. at Kal Tire Place against Armstrong.

* The Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League also kicks off its regular season this weekend.

The loop is down to three teams after the Armstrong Shamrocks announced they were taking a leave of absence for one year due to lack of player commitment.

The defending champion Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers will open their season with a pair of road games against the other two squads. Vernon plays the Venom in Kamloops Sunday, in a rematch of last year’s playoff finalists. The Tigers swept the Venom.

Vernon plays the South Okanagan Flames in Penticton Monday.

Vernon Tigers split icebreaker games

Defending Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League champs win one, lose a pair

By: ROGER KNOX Apr. 14, 2019 7:48 p.m. LOCAL SPORTS

Image: Vernon Tigers goalie Derek Pereboom stops a close-in shot from South Okanagan Flames forward Logan Cote during the Tigers’ 11-5 win at the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League’s annual Archie Jack Memorial Icebreaker tournament Saturday at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

One win, two losses, no problems.

The Vernon Sun Valley Source For Sports Tigers began defence of their Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League championship by competing in the league’s annual Archie Jack Memorial Icebreaker at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

The Tigers were 1-1 against their rivals in the three-team loop, beatign the South Okanagan Flames 11-5 but dropping a 9-7 decision to the Kamloops Venom.

Vernon also suffered a 13-1 loss to the Coquitlam Adanacs of the West Coast Junior B Lacrosse League, who came to the North Okanagan for a pair of games in the tournament. Coquitlam beat Kamloops 7-1.

“We weren’t too worried about the scores, we had a lot of good ball movement, and the boys were working hard,” said Tigers head coach Ryan Minchenko. “On Sunday, we had a short bench all day and that wore on us. It’s not an excuse, but definitely gives us somewhere to start from moving forward.”

The three teams in the TOJLL will play a 14-game schedule prior to playoffs, seven games against the other two teams.

Vernon will open its regular season Sunday, April 28, in Kamloops, then will host the Venom for its home opener Saturday, May 4.

Vernon home games will be Saturday and Wednesday evenings.

TOJLL kicks off season with Ice Breaker tournament

The league is down to three teams this year, with Armstrong Shamrocks dropping out

By: Jordyn Thomson Apr. 13, 2019 1:38 p.m.Sports

Image: The South Okanagan Flames are kicking off their season in the TOJLL with a game tonight in the Ice Breaker tournament against the Kamloops Venom. The TOJLL is short on teams this year, with the Armstrong Shamrocks having to pull out due to lack of players. (Black Press file photo)

The Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League (TOJLL) kicks off its season with its Ice Breaker tournament on April 13 and the South Okanagan Flames will be taking on Kamloops Venom at the Kamloops Memorial Arena at 7:30 p.m.

Kevin Thompson, head coach for the Flames, said he anticipates a strong first game from his players. He said the team struggled last year but they are “eager to rectify their bad showing” during the 2018 season.

“We are looking excellent, we have a great group of guys with twenty-two on the roster. They’re all young, quality lacrosse players,” said Thompson. “We’ve made major improvements after our rough year last year. Obviously all of our returning players are a year more mature and eager to rectify our bad showing last year. And we have a good group of new guys coming in who are very experienced as well.”

The league is facing a second year with a lack of players and, as a result, the Armstrong Shamrocks will not be putting forward a team. The Kelowna Raiders were unable to put together a team last year and will not be included in the league this year either.

Thompson said since the Raiders are not entering the league this year, they’ve had some players from Kelowna join with the Flames.

“Up until this year, we were down one team and now we’re down two. It’s very disappointing because there had been talks prior to the season that Kelowna might be back, and they tried awfully hard to get their team back together so we were hoping to be back to a full-strength league this year,” said league commissioner Jeff Hanley. “Unfortunately it didn’t pan out, but we did receive a letter of intent from a new organizing group in Kelowna that they intend to have a team in the league next season.”

Hanley said “Armstrong has a small base to draw from as far as new players” coming up for the minor division to play in the junior league. He said minor lacrosse players from Armstrong play for a Vernon team, which also has a team in the TOJLL with the Vernon Tigers.

“This year, there was only one eligible graduating midget player (out of Armstrong). But next year I think we’ll be closer to ten (players),” said Hanley, noting that while the league is short-handed on teams this year, he anticipates it will be back to a full five-team league.

He said the league has also struggled with commitment from volunteers and executives, noting that they rely on parents and people in the community to help with “working the door, team management, executive positions” and more.

Another change for the league this year is a result of changes in the junior B division. Hanley said the TOJLL is now considered junior B tier one.

“What that means, in a nut shell, is it’s the top tier in junior B lacrosse, so the next step would be moving up to junior A,” said Hanley. “And we don’t have any junior A teams in our league so they’d have to go to the coast to play that. But we’re now the uppermost level of junior B lacrosse that’s possible in our province.

“We’ll be competing with coastal teams so for provincials we’ll be competing with tier one teams on the coast.

The Ice Breaker tournament will feature a mini-senior lacrosse tournament as well, featuring local teams. Hanlet said one tier one team from the coast will also be playing in the tournament, which will be a good indication of the TOJLL teams’ skill versus non-local teams in this new tier.

Armstrong Shamrocks take TOJLL leave

League cites lack of players, commitment for one-year leave of absence from junior lacrosse loop

By: ROGER KNOX Mar. 31, 2019 11:30 a.m.LOCAL SPORTSSPORTS

Image: The Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League rivalry between the Vernon Tigers (white) and Armstrong Shamrocks is on hold for one year after the Shamrocks announced Sunday they are taking a one-year leave of absence due to a lack of player commitment. (Morning Star - file photo)

Lack of players, lack of commitment.

For those two reasons, the Armstrong Shamrocks have announced they are taking a one-year leave of absence from the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League, effective for the 2019 season.

“We haven’t had an influx of players for a couple of years,” said former Shamrocks governor Jeff Hanley, now commissioner of the three-team loop (Vernon Tigers, Kamloops Venom, South Okanagan Flames).

“With the graduating midgets (from North Okanagan Minor Lacrosse), the lion’s share has gone to Vernon. There was one eligible midget this year. For the last couple of years, we’ve had declining numbers and declining commitment. Players that just don’t want to show up for most of the stuff.”

New head coach/general manager Andy Sadorsky of Salmon Arm had 14-to-16 players’ names on paper, but was only getting four-to-six players out for practices, according the Hanley.

“It’s the same issue we’ve been fighting the last couple of years. It was a matter of begging kids to show up constantly, and the out-of-town games were a struggle to field a team,” he said.

The league is scheduled to play its annual Archie Jack Ice Breaker tournament Saturday, April 13, at the Nor-Val Sports Centre in Armstrong.

A 15-game unbalanced scheduled had been proposed for the four-team league with Armstrong scheduled to play its closest rival, the Tigers, six times.

A conference call will be held Tuesday evening to confirm a new 14-game schedule with each team playing the other two clubs seven times prior to playoffs.

The phone call Tuesday will also deal with the dispersal of the players from Armstrong and Kelowna Raiders, who remain on a leave of absence that took effect in 2018.

“The BCLA (B.C. Lacrosse Association) and our league policy is the players are supposed to go into a draft,” said Hanley. “The problem with that is, again, such a low commitment level. I’m trying to get a list together of players that are still wanting to play. There would be about six kids on that list from Armstrong and Kelowna combined.

“But how do you put them into a draft? The kids are not going to go to Kamloops or South Okanagan because they can barely show up for their own home practices, never mind travelling. I think a couple of kids might be keen enough.”

The 2018 Shamrocks finished third in the four-team league with a record of 2-9-1. They fell to the Venom in three straight games in the league semifinals.

The Raiders are entering a second year of absence from the league, though Hanley said the Raiders were close to being able to field a team for 2019.

“Kelowna is pretty much in the same boat (as Armstrong),” said Hanley. “The amount of players showing up is not quite enough. There’s nothing worse than trying to muddle through, we’ve done that the last couple of years. It hurts your team. Players get discouraged. They get tired of losing, tired of showing up for practice when half the team doesn’t.

“It’s a widespread problem throughout the entire province right now, but especially in our area. Kelowna can’t field one team with its population base. The fact Armstrong was able to do it up until now is pretty spectacular.”

Armstrong joined the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League in 2003, and were part of the league for 16 straight seasons, playing in the smallest community in the loop. The Shamrocks’ absence this season will be sorely felt by the Tigers.

“It’s such a great rivalry,” said Vernon general manager Duane Barr. “Most of the players played together in minor lacrosse and now face each other in junior. It’s such a good rivalry between the towns. It will be a real shame to lose them because you want to see them continue playing. It’ll be a tough go this year. We hope they come back next year.”

The future does, perhaps, bode well in Armstrong. There are a projected 10 or so graduating midget-aged players from Shuswap Minor Lacrosse in Salmon Arm after this season, and a few more coming out of North Okanagan, leaving optimism that player numbers will be higher in 2020.

The Shamrocks have played at least one home game in Salmon Arm over the past few seasons to draw interest in the team and the league from the Shuswap.

(Editor’s note: This story has been changed from its original form to show the conference call was moved from Sunday night to Tuesday)

View original article here


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