The LaSalle Vipers have made it a habit to make comebacks against the Chatham Maroons, and they did so again in a 4-3 shootout victory on Sunday night in Chatham.
Having come back from deficits in both of the previous two meetings between the two, the Vipers trailed 2-0 early in Sunday night’s contest, only to tie it on goals by Connor Tucker and Patrick McManus. The Maroons would regain their lead late in the third period, until McManus’ second of the game brought things level again with 3:31 remaining in regulation.
A thrilling overtime period solved nothing, with Maroons goaltender Brett Fullerton and Vipers netminder Tre Altiman trading big saves to send the game to a shootout. LaSalle’s second shooter Brady Hamlin scored, only to be answered by Julien Gervais at the other end. LaSalle’s third shooter Brody Gillis did as Hamlin did, hitting the back of the net and Fullerton’s water bottle for a goal and putting the pressure on Connor Paronuzzi to keep the Maroons alive. Paronuzzi used several quick dekes but Altiman didn’t bite and the Maroons forward bobbled the puck before he could get his shot off to give the Vipers a 4-3 shootout victory. Altiman was stellar in the crease stopping 37 shots for his 12th win of the season.
The win was the Vipers fourth straight and put them back within a point of St. Marys for third in the Western Conference standings. The team will now prepare for a three-game week, beginning with a home-and-home set with the Leamington Flyers on Wednesday and Thursday. LaSalle leads the season series with the second-place Flyers 3-1, with all four games being decided by one goal.