Facing elimination in Game 5 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals, the LaSalle Vipers lived to fight another day thanks to a 4-1 victory over the St. Marys Lincolns on Thursday night in LaSalle.
Second period goals by Jack Greenwell and Spencer Lecot saw the Vipers take a 2-0 lead into the second intermission, but the game tightened up quickly after Ethan Lamoureux scored 38 seconds into the third to pull St. Marys within one.
Nervously clinging to the one-goal lead, some crafty passing between Stephane Crevier and Patrick McManus ended up on the stick of Brody Gillis who beat Lincolns netminder Bryce Walcarius with a nifty backhand shot to restore the two-goal cushion. The goal gave the Vipers the breathing room they needed and they would go on to put it away with Crevier hitting an empty net with over two minutes remaining in regulation.
In what was a well-officiated and free-flowing game, LaSalle outshot St. Marys 32-23 overall, but Vipers goaltender Matthew Sbrocca was called upon to make several big stops, particularly when the game was scoreless and 1-0.
The two teams now face a quick turnaround as Game 6 goes Friday night in St. Marys, with game-time set for 7:30.