The Penticton Vees shut down the Prince George Cougars 2-0 in Sunday’s final of the six-team Vernon Safeway Vipers Midget AAA Hockey Tournament at Civic Arena.
J.J. Gainforth of Penticton and Mike Garteig of Prince George were both brilliant in the championship game. It was scoreless until midway through the third period when Drew Barnes scored for the Vees. Graeme Tutt scored an insurance goal late in the period.
The Vees beat the hometown Vipers 7-3 in the semis early Sunday morning. Riley Spraggs, Logan Stockley and Miles Jesperson handled the scoring for Vernon. Mac Campbell took the loss in relief of an under-the-weather Chris Kingdon.
Vernon got down early and battled back a couple of times before Penticton took control late in the third. Prince George beat the Cloverdale Colts 5-2 in the other semi. Cody Brndjar led the Cougar offence with two goals.
In Saturday action, Vernon bowed 6-2 to Prince George and beat the Westside Warriors 5-0.
In the morning game, Ryan Gilowski tied the game at 1-1 and Stockley tied it at 2-2. The Cougars took control late in the second with three goals.
Kingdon went the distance in net for the Vipers.
The Vipers played one of their more complete games of the season Saturday night. Curtis Hagen and Gilowski each had a pair of goals, with the single going to Taylor Bourgeois. Campbell recorded the shutout.
In other action, Prince George iced Cloverdale 5-2, Cloverdale beat Westside 5-3, Penticton clipped Prince George 3-2 in a penalty-filled final preview, Cloverdale stuffed the Okanagan Hockey Academy (OHA) Canucks 6-1 and OHA and Westside tied 3-3.
“We competed much harder in the last three games,” said Vernon head coach Jason Kasper. “We finally started to come together and work as a team. The two losses were very difficult because we were in each game and had a short lapse and lost. The good thing is that after each lapse we regrouped and competed hard. We have had trouble doing that at times. Saturday night’s win was nice because it showed the boys how good we can be when we compete for 60 minutes.”