Game MVP Billy Cawthorn stood on his head to earn the shutout as the Vernon Home Hardware Centre Vipers blanked Alberta’s Okotoks Oilers 5-0 in the opening game for both teams at the Vipers’ Tier 2 10-team Midget Rep hockey tournament Friday night at the Civic Arena.
Okotoks played a gritty, high-intensity game but couldn’t put the puck past Cawthorn, and Vernon scored on every opportunity.
Carl Main led the attack with two hard snapshots that found the back of the net. Nick Cherkowski, Dylan Sedlacek and Stephane Richard finished off the scoring, while Bryce Pyle grabbed a couple of helpers and Gage Kopp, Kyle Sherwood, Brady Marzocco and Grady Caton chipped in with an assist each.
Vernon took on the Trail Smoke Eaters in the early game Saturday and then faced the Chilliwack Bruins in the afternoon game.
The top-four teams meet in the semis this morning at 6 a.m. and 8:15 a.m.
The final is set for 3 p.m. at the Civic.
In other opening day action, the Vancouver Spirit defeated Kamloops Elks 5-3, Trail blanked the Surrey Thunder 5-0 and the Salmon Arm SilverTips edged Chilliwack 3-1.
Quesnel and Calgary round out the tournament.