Same uniform as dad, same great hands.
Layten Oliver scored three times to lead the host Vernon Watkin Motors Mustangs to a 5-2 win over the North Delta Sun Devils in the opening game of the 50th Vernon Winter Carnival Coca Cola Classic Pee Wee Hockey Tournament Thursday, Feb. 9, at Kal Tire Place North.
The Mustangs take on the Wenatchee Wild in the feature game Thursday at 5:45 p.m.
Oliver is the son of Vernon Lakers Junior A scoring star David Oliver, an assistant coach with the Mustangs, who have been wearing throwback Lakers jerseys all season. David Oliver played for the B.C. Hockey League’s Lakers in 1988-89 and 1989-90, the first of four consecutive trips to the Centennial Cup Canadian Junior A Tournament.
Oliver had 92 regular-season goals when Vernon won the Fred Page Cup BCHL title in 1989, and the Centennial Cup as hosts in 1990.
The Sun Devils’ head coach is Chris Miller, who was born in Vernon and grew up playing hockey in Lumby. He spent many years watching the Carnival Pee Wee Tournament.
Layten Oliver opened the scoring for Vernon at the 5:44 mark of the first period, and the score stayed that way until Ryder Miller banged a rebound past Mustangs goalie Gunner Podollan at 3:47 of the middle frame.
Vernon took a 2-1 lead into the third after Oliver scored his second at 14:43.
Owen Vass tied the game 1:32 after the second-intermission ice clean for the Sun Devils. Daniel Cooke scored the game-winner for Vernon at 2:36. Oliver, at 14:32, and Carter Wallace just eight seconds later at 14:40, finished the Mustangs scoring.
Sofia Sangha played goal for the Sun Devils, who look to get back into the win column Thursday at 8 p.m. against the Leduc (Alta.) Roughnecks in Coca Cola Division play.
Teams in the Sun Valley Division include B.C.’s Chilliwack Bruins and Cranbrook Bucks, and Alberta’s St. Albert Raiders Stars and Okotoks Oilers.
Each team is guaranteed five games. The four divisional finals are set for Sunday, Feb. 12, at 9 a.m., 11:30 p.m., 2 p.m. and 4:30 p.m.