Vipers Draw First Blood Against Maroons

The LaSalle Vipers defeated the Chatham Maroons by a score of 5-2 to take Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals on Wednesday night in LaSalle.

The Vipers fell behind early in the first period when Connor Paronuzzi snuck a low shot through Vipers goaltender Ian Michelone, but they wouldn’t trail for long with Drew Booker getting the equalizer less than three minutes later. From there the home side took the better of the play and would eventually wear the Maroons down with two second period goals by Ethan Martin and Adriano Tonin to take a a 3-1 lead into the second intermission.

The Maroons got exactly what they would have been looking for when Julien Gervais scored on the first shift of the third period to cut the lead to one, but the goal never really phased the Vipers who would yield just eight shots total in the period. And like they did after the opening goal of the game, LaSalle responded to Julien’s tally quickly with Max Frattaroli putting his team back in front by two with his first of the series and second of the night for the line of Frattaroli, Tonin, and Connor Tucker. There wasn’t much trouble for Michelone through the rest of the third and Patrick McManus put things to rest with an empty-net goal in the final minute of regulation.

Frattaroli and Tonin each had a goal and an assist in the game, while Ian Michelone made 29 stops for the Vipers who outshot the Maroons 45-31 overall.

It will be a quick turnaround for Game 2 in the best-of-seven series, with the scene shifting to Chatham on Thursday night. Game-time from the Memorial Arena is 7:00 PM.