Vernon Tigers, South Okanagan Flames play to wild draw

Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League match ends 17-17; overtime solves nothing


Image: Vernon Tigers forward Stephane Richard (right) moves around South Okanagan Flames defender Ben Olsen in Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League action Saturday at Kal Tire Place. (Roger Knox - Morning Star)

Overtime. Ambulance. Missed penalty shot in last minute. Powerplay goals. Shorthanded goals. Combined 34 goals. Combined 135 shots. Game ejections.

The Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League game Saturday in Vernon between the Tigers and South Okanagan Flames ended in a 17-17 draw, and had a little of everything.

Let’s fast-forward to the third period, with the game tied 13-13 and exactly eight minutes remaining. South Okanagan’s Keegan Allen takes a five-minute boarding penalty and game misconduct to give the Tigers – who had already scored five powerplay goals up to this point – the man advantage.

Only this time, it’s the Flames’ penalty kill which proves to be lethal.

Substitute goalie Connor Rampage, who entered the game early in the final frame, threw a length-of-the-floor pass to a wide-open Alex Nimmo, who beat Vernon goalie Derek Pereboom at 14:31 to give South OK a 14-13 edge. Just 35 seconds later, and still down a man, Nimmo outraced a Vernon defender and again beat Pereboom to give the Flames a two-goal cushion with 5:29 remaining.

Kaden Doughty got Vernon back to within a goal at 18:05, and added his fourth of the game 31 seconds later – on another Tigers powerplay – to even the game at 15-15.

With 23 seconds left in regulation time, the Flames were whistled for too many men on the floor, meaning an automatic penalty shot. Doughty went in alone on Ramage and the Flames goalie made an arm save to keep the game knotted. It would be Ramage’s second-to-last save of the game.

At 19:50, Vernon’s Jacob Brewer got around two defenders and moved in on Ramage. He got a shot away and then bowled into the South OK goalie, resulting in a skirmish and Ramage laying on the ground, not moving.

Ramage was attended to by training staff from both teams, and by first responders from Vernon Fire Rescue Services, before an ambulance arrived to take the injured goalie to Vernon Jubilee Hospital.

Flames’ coaches said afterward Ramage was taken to hospital for precaution, complaining of severe pain in the neck region. The coaches said he was moving all extremities and was alert when removed on a stretcher.

After a half-hour delay, the Flames had the ball and 10 seconds left to get a winner, but could not beat Pereboom, resulting in a 10-minute, non-sudden-death overtime period.

The Tigers got goals from Liam Cyr and Stephane Richard to take a 17-15 lead. The Flames, though, never gave up. Ethan Konno scored 28 seconds after Richard, and Nimmo would add his third shorthanded marker with captain Jake MacLeod ejected for arguing a slashing penalty at 5:42 to even the match.

The biggest lead either team had was three goals – Vernon 10 South Okanagan 7 – in the middle frame. It was 6-5 Flames after one period, and 11-11 heading into the third.

South Okanagan lost Carson Shortreed and Aiden Danby to game ejections in the second period. The Flames also had three goals disallowed in the opening 20 minutes for crease violations.

Doughty led all scorers on the night with what’s believed to be a team record 12 points on four goals and eight helpers. Jake Pelletier had seven points (1+6) for Vernon, Richard finished with four goals, including a natural hat trick over the second and third periods. Thomas Mackiewich (3+2) and Caden Colmorgen (2+3) each had five points. Jacob Brewer and Kael Black also scored for the Tigers.

Nimmo led South Okanagan with 5+3. MacLeod had 4+1 before his ejections and Konno pocketed 3+1. Chace Moog had a goal and four assists while single markers went to Danby, Cairo Rogers, Shortreed and Allen.

Ramage and starter Shaun Agostinho combined to make 52 saves on 69 Vernon shots. Pereboom made 49 saves for Vernon.

The defending champion Tigers (1-4-1) are winless in three while the Flames improve to 1-2-1. The two teams meet again May 27 in Penticton.

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)

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