The LaSalle Vipers were upended by the Komoka Kings on Sunday afternoon at the Vollmer Complex and now turn their attention to their first-round playoff matchup.
With a big crowd, a lot going on around them, and already knowing their playoff fate, the Vipers seemed to lack some focus through much of he first two periods and left the ice after the second period trailing 3-1. They woke up in the third and outshot the Kings 17-4 and got within a goal when Spencer Paradis scored on a power-play with six minutes to go in regulation. From there they pressed further and had some glorious scoring chances but could not beat Komoka netminder Nathan Young for a third time and the Kings skated away with the 3-2 victory. Jack Bowler scored LaSalle’s first goal shorthanded and he and Paradis each had a goal and assist in the game
The day however was about much more than the game on the ice. Prior to the game, Ron MacLean and Tara Slone from Rogers Hometown Hockey visited the team’s dressing room to offer a few words of inspiration and wish them well in the upcoming playoffs. Before the opening faceoff, a ceremony was held to honour two graduating players who were playing in their final regular-season home game for the LaSalle Vipers, Brad Vincent and Spencer Paradis. Following the game, the team marched in the Hometown Hockey parade and then gathered in the dressing room to watch a feature on the Vipers organization on Sportsnet. The day wrapped up with the team posing for a picture with Ron and Tara in the Sportsnet studio. It was a day with a ton of great memories that won’t soon be forgotten.
Next up for the Vipers is the Western Conference Quarterfinals where they will take on the Chatham Maroons. The complete schedule is still TBA, but Game 1 will be on Wednesday, February 26 in LaSalle.