The LaSalle Vipers split their two games this past week, dropping a one-goal game to the Leamington Flyers on Wednesday night in LaSalle and then rallying from a large deficit to beat the Chatham Maroons on Saturday afternoon in Chatham.
Against the rival Flyers, Connor MacPherson’s late second-period goal put the visiting Flyers up by two goals and stood to be the game-winner in a 4-3 victory. Vipers rookie defenseman Carson Woodall scored the goal of the year in the second period, pulling off what is known as The Michigan where he picked the puck up on his stick and wrapped it around before throwing the puck into the top of the net. Captain Spencer Lecot scored in the final minute to bring the Vipers within a goal, but the Flyers held on in the final 30 seconds to secure the win. Drew Booker scored the other Vipers goal, while Ian Michelone played well in defeat, stopping 35 of the 39 shots he faced.
Taking to the road for a Saturday afteroon matchup with the Chatham Maroons, a poor start saw the Vipers fall behind 3-0 after the first period of play and then further behind at 5-1 with sevin minutes left in the second. Late second period goals by Max Frattaroli and Connor Tucker got the Vipers back into the game before the middle frame was out to help set the stage for a wild comeback in the third. Brody Gillis’ fourth of the season on a beautiful backhand shot at 4:05 of the third period was followed by Spencer Lecot’s sixth of the year to miraculously tie the game at 5-5 midway through the third.
With the game’s momentum having swung completely in their favour, the visitors kept coming and they would take their first lead when Ethan Martin found Wylie Birkett out front and the big winger would redirect the pass past the Maroons netminder for a fifth straight Vipers goal. A deflated Chatham squad were unable to muster much over the final six minutes and the buzzer sounded to complete the Vipers wild comeback in a 6-5 victory.
Spencer Lecot, Adriano Tonin, Max Frattaroli, Brody Gillis, and Ethan Martin all recorded multi-point games, while Ian Michelone made 12 saves to pick up his fifth win of the season after relieving starter Tre Altiman to start the second period.
The win was an important one as the Vipers embark on a difficult portion of their schedule with four more very challenging games in the upcoming week. They will again host the third-place Leamington Flyers on Wednesday night, followed by a trip to St. Marys to take on the second-place Lincolns on Friday night. They will then see the first-place London Nationals come to town on Sunday afternoon for what will be an odd two games in one set. The two teams must complete a previous game that was suspended due to an injury to a Nationals player, before starting an entirely new game.