The LaSalle Vipers scored three times in the third period to erase an early deficit in the final frame, to pick up a big victory over the London Nationals on Wednesday night in London.
The Vipers came out flying, with Cole Davis scoring at 1:47 of the first period and then went on to out-shoot the Nationals 15-6 over the game’s first 20 minutes. Davis would score his second of the night and 19th of the season to give his team a two-goal lead in the early stages of the second period, before Riley Wood got the Nationals on the board nearing the midway mark of the period. Lee Knight restored LaSalle’s two-goal cushion, but two London goals in the final five minutes of the second put things square at 3-3 through 40 minutes of play.
Nolan Milne scored just a minute into the third period for the third straight London goal and his team’s first lead of the evening. Undeterred by falling behind, the Vipers responded almost immediately with Drew Booker notching his 10th of the season on a play that was started by a beautiful stretch pass from Spencer Lecot. The visitors would retake the lead midway through the third on a pretty passing play that was finished off by Patrick McManus. The difference-making goal of the game however came with London forward Brayden Thompson in the box and the Vipers power-play capitalyzing via a one-timer from Lecot at 13:14 of the third. It was the 14th tally of the season for the Vipers captain, which leads all GOJHL defensemen.
Wood scored his second of the game to cut the lead to one in the final minute of regulation, but the Nationals were unable to come up with the equalizer and LaSalle left the ice with a big two points in a high-scoring 6-5 victory.
Cole Davis led the way offensively with two goals and an assist, while linemates Nick Graniero and Patrick McManus had three-point outings of their own. Ian Michelone made 34 saves in the LaSalle net to earn his 12th win of the season.
The win moved the Vipers within a point of the Nationals for third-place in the Western Conference, with London holding two games in hand. The two teams will close out the season-series against each other on Family Day, February 20 in London.
LaSalle’s next action this week comes Saturday night when the team heads to Strathroy to take on the Rockets for the final time this regular-season.