With injuries mounting, the Lasalle Vipers won two of three home games this past week to move into fourth-place in the Western Conference standings.
Back-to-back wins over the St. Thomas Stars on Wednesday and Thursday moved the Vipers ahead of the St. Marys Lincolns into fourth-place despite being without several key players. Already without veteran forward Ethan Hamelin who suffered a broken leg on March 12 against London, the team then lost standout center Noah Morneau to a fractured wrist in Wednesday night’s 3-2 win over St. Thomas. In that game the Vipers erased a 2-0 deficit in the third period, scoring three times in a span of 10 minutes with Drew Booker getting the game-winner on a power-play with just under five minutes left in regulation.
The following night, LaSalle was without five regulars from their forward group but turned in a better performance and beat the Stars much more comfortably in a 7-2 win. Nic Pavia continued his red-hot scoring with a three-point game, while Brody Gillis and Jack Greenwell also put up three points.
Closing out the week’s action on Sunday afternoon, the Vipers were handed a taste of their own medicine as the visiting London Nationals dominated from start to finish in a 5-1 drubbing. The Vipers had beaten the Nationals by the same 5-1 score in London in each of the past two weekends.
With a one-point cushion and a game in hand on St. Marys for the fourth spot in the Conference, the Vipers will need to continue to rely on their depth as the injury bug continues to make it’s way through the lineup. That depth will be tested in a big way in the team’s next game when the first-place Leamington Flyers are back at the Vollmer Complex on Wednesday night. The Vipers defeated the Flyers 5-3 back on March 9. Game-time for that one is 7:00 PM.