Penticton’s lone regular season champ in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association has advanced to the provincial championship.
The Sherwood Trophy peewee Tier 2 Vees (13-3-2) swept the third-place Kamloops Blazers 3-2 and 4-1. In the deciding game, the Blazers opened the scoring, but the Vees responded with goals by Levi Carter with two, Brennan Nelson and Ethan O’Rourke. In the 3-2 win, Xavier Roepcke scored twice and Sam Togyi chipped in. The Vees earned a bye into the final after defeating the Vernon Vipers.
“We came out a little flat on Saturday because we hadn’t played a meaningful game since probably before Christmas,” said Vees coach Greg Berkholtz. “Took the first game to get our feet going. The second game showed how the boys could play. It was a lot easier game. We controlled the play pretty much the whole game.”
Berkholtz liked his players’ work ethic in the series and said they never stopped skating. Vees captain Owen Labadie said they worked well as a team and moved the puck around well.
The Vees will now travel north to Prince George for provincials March 16 to 19.
Peerless Vees swept
The Penticton midget Tier 2 Peerless Vees couldn’t solve Kelowna Rockets goaltender, losing 4-0 to get swept out of the OMAHA playoffs. The Vees lost the first game 3-2 and ran into penalty trouble, serving 29 minutes in the box, while Kelowna had eight. In Game 2, Kelowna had 36 minutes compared to Penticton’s 28.
“It was a tough overtime loss in Kelowna that we didn’t seem to put behind us going into Game 2,” said Vees coach Ken Karpuk. “An early goal against in the second game and penalty trouble didn’t allow us to find our rhythm. It was a difficult game to watch as a coach knowing there was so much more in our group than what they displayed.”
During their game, the Vees donated all their 50/50 proceeds, $1,500, to the Kaylee Kozari-Bowland fund.
Peaches Lingerie wins title
Penticton’s female midget recreation Peaches Lingerie Vees clinched the OMAHA championship with a 3-2 win against Kelowna on Friday. Scoring were Sienna Gabriel, Lena Madevon and Lyndell Campbell. Coach Shawn Black described it as a hard fought game as they trailed 1-0.
“The girls battled back, eventually taking the lead midway through the third period and hanging on,” he said. “The team played with a lot of heart and determination. Even when we were behind, the team never gave up and they never quit trying.”
The Vees had to deal with Kelowna playing strong defense and limiting scoring chances, while collapsing in front of their net .
“Our team worked well with the puck down low and we were able to get the puck out to the point for shots and this forced them to open up the defensive zone coverage,” said Black.
Peaches Lingerie Vees wrap up their season with a tournament in Merritt on March 6-8.
Season ends for bantam Ice Dragons
The Penticton bantam recreation Ice Dragons played fantastic against Lillooet, but just couldn’t get results losing 5-3 to end their season.
“It was just not meant to be as we outplayed and outshot them,” said Ice Dragons coach Bill Lund, whose team lost the first game 4-2. “Every girl did what the coaches had asked of them before the game.”
Scoring for the Ice Dragons were Julia Devito, Adrienne Beresford and Caprice Buchan.
“I think the girls are sad that the season is over but looking forward to our team windup,” he added.
South Okanagan Minor Hockey Association
The bantam Tier 3 Flames advanced to provincials with a sweep of Winfield, 3-0 and 4-3. The Flames took the regular season banner with a record of 15-2-1.
The midget Tier 3 Flames look to advance to the provincial championships with a win against Kelowna on Saturday at Rutland East Arena. The Flames doubled up Kelowna 6-3 in Game 1 on Feb. 21. The team took first in the Okanagan Mainline Amateur Hockey Association with 14 wins in 16 games.
The peewee Tier 3 Flames lead Merritt 1-0 after a 3-1 win on Feb. 22. The Flames travel to Merritt on Feb. 28 with Game 3 if necessary, returning to Osoyoos on March 1. The Flames wrapped up their season with a 14-1-1 mark in the regular season.