Concluding with a 4-3 victory on Saturday night in Komoka, the LaSalle Vipers took two of their three games on the week and remain in first place in the GOJHL’s Western Conference.
On Saturday night in Komoka, Spencer Lecot’s goal with just under two minutes to play in the third period boosted the Vipers to a narrow 4-3 win in a back-and-forth affair with the Komoka Kings. The Vipers twice held leads in the game, only to watch the Kings answer in less than a minute each time. The visitors however showed resiliency all night, as did goaltender Ethan Dagenais who was making his first career junior hockey start. The LaSalle native stopped 31 of the 34 shots he faced, including some big saves late in the game to keep the score tied and then to help preserve the win. Noah Morneau, Derek Berdusco and Kyle Walker were the other goal-scorers for the Vipers who improved their road record to 4-1 and their overall record to a Western Conference best 6-1-0-1.
In the middle matchup of their three games this week, the Vipers dropped a closely contested game against the Leamington Flyers on Thursday night in Leamington. Leading 1-0 after two periods on Nic Pavia’s team-leading fifth goal of the season, the Flyers scored 17 seconds into the third and then got the eventual game-winning goal just three minutes later. Matthew Tovell established his season-high with 42 saves in what was a great goaltending dual with Leamington netminder Ryan Polidori. Polidori made 37 stops of his own to backstop the Flyers to the win and snap the Vipers four-game winning streak.
In the team’s lone home game of the week, LaSalle yielded the first goal of the night to the Sarnia Legionnaires but rattled off four straight through the rest of the game in a 4-1 win. Stephane Crevier and Nic Pavia each scored twice, with Crevier’s second period tally going down as the eventual game-winner. The superb goaltending of Matt Tovell continued as the big netminder stopped 20/21 shots, including one of the most spectacular saves you will ever see, to record his league-leading fifth win of the year.
Having dropped just one of eight games to date in regulation against six victories, the Vipers will remain on top of the Western Conference standings for the second consecutive week. Dealing with several injuries, including a couple of key forwards who have yet to play a game, the Vipers strong start has been fueled by consistent effort up and down their lineup. The team has allowed the least goals in the Western Conference through their first eight games and has also been the league’s most disciplined team by a good margin.
It is a lighter schedule for the upcoming week with just two games, but certainly no less challenging. A tough St. Marys Lincolns team visits the Vollmer Complex on Wednesday night, and then the team heads to Strathroy for the second time this season on Saturday. Game-time for Wednesday night’s home game is 7:00 PM.