The LaSalle Vipers dropped their season and home opener by a 5-2 score to the London Nationals on Wednesday night in LaSalle.
Sporting their new uniforms, the Vipers had a strong first period despite carrying a 1-0 deficit into the first intermission. Out-shooting the visitors 19-16 through the opening 20 minutes, the Vipers couldn’t solve London netminder Aiden Berry on several good chances.
A few bad penalties resulted in London power-play goals in the second and third period to extend the Nationals lead to 4-0, until two late Vipers power-play goals by Brady Hamlin and Patrick McManus cut the lead in half. A comeback bid was left far too late however and the Nationals hit the empty net in the waning seconds and left the ice with a 5-2 victory.
LaSalle outshot London 44-35 overall and had a couple goal-posts and missed breakaway opportunities that could have made things different. Rookie netminder Tre Altiman made 30 saves in his first career start and battled to keep the score from getting out of hand.
The next action for the Vipers comes next Wednesday when the Komoka Kings visit the Vollmer Complex.