Already blessed with the most dynamic offence in the Thompson Okanagan Junior Lacrosse League, the first-place Vernon Source For Sports Tigers are now a touch deeper.
Quinn Stanhope, a 20-year-old, left-handed sharpshooter who played NCAA Division 1 field lacrosse with the Canisius College Griffs in Buffalo last year, pocketed four goals in his Vernon debut Saturday night as the Tigers torched the South Okanagan Flames 16-4 at Kal Tire Place.
Stanhope, a New Westminster Secondary School grad, compiled 66 points in two Junior B seasons with the New West Salmonbellies before shuffling off to Buffalo. He’s now living in Kelowna, where he played minor lacrosse. He got his release from the Bellies and made a call to the Tigers, who have 107 goals in eight games.
“He kind of just fell in our lap,” said Tiger head coach Ryan Minchenko. “He brings experience for one thing; it’s nice to have another older player. He’s a good shot and he’s got good hands. He’s another offensive weapon. He opens up the other side of the floor. He covers the floor pretty quick.”
Stanhope, a 6-foot-1, 175-pounder, saw lots of floor time with Jordy Barr and Kaden Doughty, who share the league’s points derby with 30. Jake Pelletier, who has 29 points, and Conor Webb (8-6-14) also went out with Stanhope.
“He’s a nice addition,” said Barr, of Stanhope, who wore No. 79 as the Tigers unveiled their snazzy new home white jerseys and shorts. “He battles hard for loose balls and he sees a lot of the floor and knows where everybody is.”
Barr hit the 19-goal mark with a hat trick, while Doughty fired his 16th and 17th snipes of the season along with two helpers. Caden Colmorgen supplied 1+4, while Chase Wirth counted 1+3. Pelletier, Eric Reid and Thomas Mackewich each produced 1+2 with Zach Gares and Kyle Cuzzetto also converting.
Barr, who used to connect from the perimeter, is scoring plenty from the crease area this season. He says the 6-0-2 Tigers often play down to a weaker team’s level, something they want to correct for the showdowns with second-place Kamloops Venom.
The 5-1-1 Venom, who ransacked the Armstrong Shamrocks 15-6 Friday night, visit the Tigers Saturday night.
“We do tend to pick up bad habits in these games where we win by more than 10 goals,” said Minchenko. “We had a good week of practice last week and we’ll push the guys again this week. Our biggest fear is not being ready to go against Kamloops.”
The Tigers welcomed back veteran captain Steele Pelletier against the Flames, while Thomas Landels remains on IR but is practising.
Adam Canada (2), Louis Shortreed and Jake McLeod countered for the 1-5-2 Flames. Kyle McIntosh earned the win with Jordie Scherck coming off IR and playing the final 11:05, stopping all seven shots he faced.
There was a spirited third-period scrap with tons of punches thrown between Webb and Liam McLaren. Fans called it a draw.
Kordell Primus pulled the hatty as the Venom iced the 1-7-1 Shamrocks in Armstrong.
Austin Dounais netted three goals for the Irish, who got singles from Ethan Dodge, Brayden Hoggarth and Jorge Sam. Drew Bannister and Mykl Drabiuk each collected two assists.
Jake Coles of the Venom was assessed a match penalty for checking from behind in the third period.
The Shamrocks entertain the Flames Friday night at Nor-Val Sports Centre.