Sports in BRIEF
Canadian Freestyle skiing
Canada's freestyle teams begin their olympic qualifying season. The half pipe and slope style team, which has Penticton's Matt Margetts, is in Breckenridge, Col. this weekend for the Dew Cup. The mogul team is in Ruka, Finland for a dual event on Saturday. Andi Naude, 16, of Okanagan Falls is on the Canadian national team. With her addition and that of Chelsea Henitiuk, there is belief in the organization that Canada can win its eighth straight FIS Nations Cup.
Grand Slam of Curling
Kelowna's Prospera Place is hosting the second leg of the Grand Slam of Curling with the Canadian Open Dec. 12 to 16.
Jim Cotter, originally from Kamloops and lives in Vernon, has a team featuring second Tyrel Griffith and lead Rick Sawatsky both from Kelowna. Joining the team for the event will be Dave Nedohin of Sherwood Park, Alta. Tickets for the event can be purchased online at www.selectyourtickets.com or by calling 250-762-5050. Among the teams there will be Glenn Howard's rink, Jeff Stoughton, Brad Gushue and Kevin Koe. Sportsnet.ca has reported that Kevin Martin will not be playing in the championship after having hernia surgery that will keep him out of action for four weeks.
A 4-2 loss to the Summerland Steam Dec. 7 extended the Penticton Lakers losing skid to 10 games. That was erased on Sunday as the Lakers beat up on the Chase Heat 7-1. Matthew Billingsley scored twice, 10 seconds apart to give the Lakers a 2-0 lead. The Heat made it 2-1 four minutes later. The Lakers scored five unanswered goals, including a natural hat trick by Kale Erickson. He leads the team in scoring with 12 goals in 27 games and is now serving a three-game suspension for being assessed a match penalty with 17 seconds left in the game when he got into a fight. The Lakers next host Princeton and Kelowna on Dec. 14 and 16, respectively.
Smile Enhancement Tier 2 Bantam Vees traveled to Trail and won the tournament. The Vees went 2-1 in round robin play after beating Spokane 3-2 and shutting out Trail 4-0 with their only loss coming to the Castlegar Rebels 7-5. In the semifinal round, the Vees dismantled Kelowna 6-0 after scoring two goals in the first minute. They faced West Kelowna in the final and won 4-0. The Vees managed to win despite having two injuries. Goal scoring was led by Michael MacLean and Raphael Bassot with four each. Myles Thibodeau and Nick Graham scored three each, while Simon Snyman, Greg Brydon and Nathan Iannone scored twice. Singles came from Josh Maser and Jayden Doell. The Vees enjoyed strong defensive play from Aiden Hutcheson, Nick Graham, Simon Snyman, Owen Haggerty, Daylan Devlin and Greg Brydon. Shane Farkas and Alyck Coombes were strong in the net. Farkas led the way with two straight shutouts and allowed only two goals in three games. Coombes picked up a key semifinal shutout win. The Vees are back in action this weekend when they face the Pursuit of Excellence team at 3:30 p.m. on Sunday at Memorial Arena.
In Penticton men's rec hockey, the EcoDry Ice Dogs defeated the Hitmen 6-5. Mike Funk and Louis Parent led the Ice Dogs with two goals each. Brett Van Riper led the Hitmen with two goals. The Cawston Cold Storage Best Damn Wings and Mule Broncos settled for a 6-6 tie. Dylan Wilson and Jamin Feist each had two for the Wings, while Stuart Nisbet led the Broncos with two.