The Chatham Maroons are one win away from taking the Western Conference Quarterfinal series against the LaSalle Vipers.
The fifth-seeded Maroons followed up Saturday night’s blowout win in LaSalle with a narrow 4-3 victory on Sunday night in Chatham to take a commanding 3-1 series lead over the fourth-seeded Vipers.
Having been without all-star defenseman Abdul Abouzeeni for the entire series thus far, as well as missing veteran blueliner Brad Vincent in Game 3 and 4, the Vipers inexperienced remaining defense core has struggled to contain the Maroons top line of Dallas Maurovic, AJ Ryan and Zach Power. The trio combined for 14 points in a 7-3 win in Game 3 and again were the difference in Game 4 by combining for eight points. Maurovic, the Maroons Captain, in particular has been the difference maker in the series, totalling five goals and ten points in the three Chatham victories.
Scoring first in Sunday night’s Game 4, the Vipers got off to a good start but could not maintain it in the second period and went into the third trailing by two. Jack Bowler’s second goal of the game at 5:10 of the third period brought them within one and they had some chances in the final minutes, but could not find the equalizer and the Maroons celebrated a 4-3 win in front of their home fans.
With their backs now completely against the wall, the Vipers task is an upfront one. They have to win three straight games, and rest on the adage of taking it one game at a time, starting with Game 5 on Wednesday night in LaSalle.