Minor Hockey: Palaga helps Lions to title


Max Palaga was named tournament MVP as the North Kamloops Lions rolled to the title at an event in Langley on the weekend.

Palaga helped Kamloops open the tournament with an 8-0 victory over Westsound, making 12 saves in the shutout. Nathan Weninger had two goals in the victory and game MVP Tyson Gayfer and Keenan Gannon each had a goal and two assists.

Justin MacInnes, Luke Recchi and Sam Fuoco had the other Kamloops goals, and Trevis John had two assists. Seiji Brown was the unsung hero.

Ethan Langenegger stopped seven shots as the Lions shut out Ridge Meadows 5-0. MVP Brendan Roche and Weninger each scored twice, and Gannon singled as Matthew Lee was named unsung hero.

The Lions dropped their next game, falling 5-4 in overtime to Portland.

Palaga stopped 18 shots and Weninger had a goal and two assists. John, Fuoco and Gannon had the other Kamloops goals, Eric Marasco was unsung hero and Brown was MVP.

MVP Langenegger made 18 saves as the Lions hammered Comox Valley 7-3 in a quarterfinal. Roche, with two, Brown, Elias Wallace, John, unsung hero Lukas Duckworth and Weninger had the goals, and Brown added two assists.

Palaga stopped 12 of 13 shots in the Lions' 3-1 semifinal victory over Portland. John was MVP, Wallace was the unsung hero, Roche had two goals and Gayfer singled in the victory.

The Lions held on to beat host Langley 4-3 in Sunday's final. Palaga turned aside 22 shots, and game MVP Roche had two goals as Kamloops surged to a 4-1 lead. Gayfer and John also scored, with unsung hero Brown adding two helpers.

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The Royal Purple Mystixs played four games in the Tri-Cities Female Ice Classic tournament in Coquitlam, losing twice to the hosts and twice to Vancouver.

Carson Moffett had three goals in the tournament, and Nicole Thomas also scored.

Rebekah Schmutz was in goal for all four games, earning an MVP in one. Moffett, Samantha Yawney and Camryn Filimek were other game MVPs.

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The Canadians went 2-1 in a trio of games around Christmas.

They opened by beating the atom girls 7-2, with Mason Alger, Robert Gyger, Ethan Nolan and Sebastian Thomas scoring goals.

The Canadians went on to lose 7-5 to the Crushers, who got two goals each from Jaden Donchi and Ryan Petrie and singles from Cooper Felker, A.J. Killam and Tyler Sperling. Seamus Bunkier and Elliot Baskin Smith, with two each, and Alger had the Canadians' goals.

Gyger had three goals as the Canadians defeated the Red Rockets 6-4. Thomas also scored twice and Jacob Gottfriedson singled. Caleb Vanuekhaven, with two, Liam Miniey and Eliah Shaffi scored for the Red Rockets.

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Stran Smith had three goals to lead the Sandman Spitfires over the Sandman Warriors 7-2.

Zachary Kramer was the winning goaltender, Colton Woitas scored twice and Dashiel Nettles and Kyle Woitas added goals to the winning cause.

Jacob Hufty scored twice for the Warriors, who had Dayton McManus in goal.


Ethan Gremaud's three goals helped the Rockets edge the Crushers 6-5.

Brady McCutcheon, Stephen Pigeon and Evan Smith also scored in the victory, which Caleb Campbell backstopped.

Kaden Lindquist had two goals for the Crushers, whose other goals came from Max Card, Logan MacLaughlin and Zach Clark. Tyson Aspeslet was in goal for the Crushers.


Alesandro Comita scored two goals in the Vipers' 3-1 victory over the Blades.

Brady Pawlachuk was the winning goaltender, and Kiel Schriml also scored for the Vipers. Carter Noble replied for the Blades, who turned to Jake Bradley and Mathew Murphy in goal.

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The Jardine's Blazers fought back from a two-goal deficit to beat Kelowna 4-3 in Valleyview on Sunday.

Kaden Dempsey had two goals in the victory, and Connor Milburn and Ben Ward also scored for Kamloops.

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Spencer Shyiak had five goals as the Brock Auto Centre Broncos hammered the Ice Kings 11-2.

Dakota Reid also scored twice in the victory, and Jamie Daniels had a goal and two assists.

Colton Davoren, Jordan Munegatto and Jordan Calibaba also scored for the Broncos, who had Sam Fawcett in goal.

Liam Rose and Eric Crawford scored for the Ice Kings, who went with Michael Love in goal.


Nolan Virgo scored five times as the Coyotes knocked off the Rebels 7-1.

Becky Ramgren had a goal and two assists in support of winning goaltender Ryan Clark, and Braeden Crowe also scored. Hunter Coleman scored for the Rebels, who had Nic Shufletoski in goal.

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Kamloops Players Bench lost 4-3 in Kelowna.

Hayden Fidanza, Keegan Fletcher and Adam Gammel scored for Kamloops, and Xavier Cannon took the loss in goal.

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The North Kamloops Elks finished second at a tournament in West Kelowna on the weekend, dropping a 6-2 decision to the host team in the final.

Kamloops had beaten Williams Lake 6-3, Kelowna 3-1, Castlegar 6-3 and Penticton 6-3 in the round-robin. Ryan Clifford had 11 points in five tournament games, while Bryce McDonald and Stefan Nesci each had nine points.

The Elks are home to a 10-team tournament on the weekend.

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Jameson Rende's three points weren't enough to help the North Kamloops Lions past Vernon on Saturday, as the visitors won 10-3 at Valleyview Arena.

Rende had a goal and two assists. Jayden Russell and Tyler Fernie also scored in the loss, and Joshua Bishop had two assists.

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