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.