Vipers Win At Home, Lose On Road To Start December

The LaSalle Vipers split their two games this past week, defeating the Sarnia Legionnaires and then dropping a lopsided decision to the Chatham Maroons.On Wednesday night in LaSalle, a goal-less first 40 minutes gave way to an exciting third period and a thrilling conclusion in the Vipers third meeting of the year with the Legionnaires. With the score tied at 2-2, regulation and the seven-minute overtime period solved nothing, leaving things to be decided in a a shootout. LaSalle netminder Ethan Carlone was beaten by Sarnia’s first shooter but went on to stop the next six. Nic Pavia scored a clutch goal when the Vipers were down to their last shot, and Patrick McManus later scored the game-winner in the seventh round. Pavia and defenseman Owen Findlay scored LaSalle’s regulation goals.Carlone more than earned his first career Jr. B win, making a couple spectacular saves to out-duel Sarnia netminder Nolan DeKoning in the shootout.  DeKoning was stellar throughout, making 47 saves in total, and as fate would have it, it would not be the last time he faced the Vipers that week.Hoping to build off their Wednesday victory, the Vipers took to the road on Sunday afternoon to tangle with the Chatham Maroons. Their opponent in goal was once again Nolan DeKoning who had been traded from Sarnia just a day earlier. LaSalle countered with Chicago native Andrei Ballack who made his first career start in the GOJHL. The first period however did not go according to plan for the Vipers as three bad breakdowns resulted in three Maroons goals. Ballack certainly could not be faulted for any of them as the scoring plays came via two 2-on-0’s and a power-play goal where the dangerous shooting Dylan Glinski was left all alone out front of the net directly off a faceoff.The Vipers came back with a much better second period but could not get anything past DeKoning. They did actually score once but it was not allowed to stand as the referee deemed not to have seen the puck cross the line despite it clearly doing so. Nic Pavia and Drew Booker scored late third period goals but the game had already long been decided and the Maroons cruised to a 6-2 victory.New challenges await the Vipers in the upcoming week, as the team will play three games. They will get another crack at the Maroons on Wednesday night in LaSalle before heading to St. Thomas on Friday night. They will then close out the week by hosting the first-place London Nationals on Sunday afternoon.Fans are reminded to bring new and unwrapped toys to the Vollmer for this Wednesday night’s game against the Chatham Maroons as part of the annual Sparky’s Toy Drive.