The LaSalle Vipers made a successful return from the holiday break, defeating the Strathroy Rockets on Wednesday and the Leamington Flyers on Thursday.
On Wednesday night in LaSalle, the Vipers got first and second period goals by Drew Booker and Wylie Birkett, and then added two more by Adriano Tonin and Spencer Lecot in the third to skate away with a 4-1 victory over the visiting Rockets. Lecot, Tonin, and Connor Tucker all had two points in the game, while Ian Michelone made 36 saves for his 10th win of the season in goal.
Making their second trip of the season to Leamington to take on the second-place Flyers the following night, the Vipers opened the scoring on an early first period tally by Nicholas Graniero. The Flyers would tie the game and then take the lead early in the second, until Brady Hamlin’s 12th goal of the year brought things level again at 11:43 of the middle frame.
With the score at 2-2 after 40 minutes of play, Bryce Scarlett put the Flyers back in front early in the third to set the stage for the late dramatics to come. Capitalyzing on a Flyers turnover, Vipers captain Spencer Lecot buried the equalizer with just over two minutes left in regulation to send the game to overtime. The winning goal started on a defensive zone faceoff with the puck ending up on the stick of Graniero who took advantage of the open ice and his great speed to burn by a Flyers defenseman and then put a hard low shot past Bryce Walcarius to give the Vipers the win. It was their third win over the Flyers out of four games between the two rivals, with all of them being decided by one goal. Graniero’s two goals and Ian Michelone’s stellar 41-save outing led the way on the gamesheet.
Now trailing the St. Marys Lincolns by just one point for third-place in the Western Conference, the Vipers next action comes on Wednesday night when they will host the St. Thomas Stars. They will then close out of the week with a road game against the Maroons on Sunday night in Chatham.