The LaSalle Vipers knocked off the Strathroy Rockets on Saturday night in Strathroy to hit the 30-win mark for the first time in several seasons.
Patrick McManus scored on the first shift of the game for an early lead just 16 seconds into the game, before a power-play goal by Rockets Captain Caden Faulkner brought things level through 20 minutes of play. It would be the only time the game would be tied however, as the visitors would score twice in the second. Adriano Tonin’s 10th goal of the season on a power-play at 2:20 put LaSalle back in front and was followed by Andrew Kotveski notching his 10th of the year as well.
With a two-goal lead through two periods of play, the Vipers widened the gap early in the third when Tonin put home his second power-play marker of the night. LaSalle special teams would put the game away three minutes later with Spencer Lecot scoring shorthanded for his 15th goal of the campaign, a total that leads all GOJHL defensemen. The Rockets got one back late but there was no further threat to the Vipers lead and the buzzer sounded on a convincing 5-2 road win.
Lecot paced the offense with a four-point outing, while Patrick McManus collected three points for his second straight game. Tre Altiman won his fourth straight start, making 24 saves for his 16th win in goal. Tonin and Kotevski’s goals now gives the Vipers 10 different players who have hit double digits in goals, the highest of any team in the Western Conference.
The team was provided some extra energy from their fathers who were along for the ride for the annual Dad’s Trip. They watched and cheered as the team won for the 30th time, the first Vipers team to do so since the 2017-18 season.
With five regular-season games remaining, plenty of opportunity remains for the Vipers to move up from their current fourth-place position. Their next action comes on Wednesday night when they return home to take on the Komoka Kings at 7:00 PM.