By Gary Rennie
It was hard-fought, high tempo hockey from start to finish.
Building on a first period goal by Zane Dalpe, the LaSalle Vipers never let up in a 4-1 win over the Chatham Maroons Wednesday at the Vollmer Complex.
Dalpe got the game winner in a second period power play off a pass from defence man Abdul Abouzeeni.
Vipers’ captain Brett Vorshuk padded the lead midway through the third period with a pinpoint shot from the slot set up by Stephane Crevier and Jack Chumley.
The Maroons narrowed the deficit with about five minutes to go in the third period on a goal by Nolan Gardiner.
Honoured pre-game as Western Conference offensive player of the month for December, A.J. Ryan added an empty net goal with two seconds to go. Centering a line with Ryan and Dalpe, Kory Silverio had assists on three goals.
Vipers’ defence man Brad Vincent’s scrap with Maroons’ Darby Lemieux in the third period led to ejections for both and was an indication of the intensity level of the game for both teams.
“Overall, I thought we executed great,” said head coach John Nelson. “I thought we played a great 60-minute game.”
“We played aggressive, we played physical.”
“(Goalie) Will Tragge stepped up big for us early. He made some big saves for us,” said Nelson.
The Vipers outshot the Maroons 29-26 and had a 6-0 record on penalty kills.
“Stefan Dobrich was unbelievable tonight. He did a real nice job of shutting down their top line,” said Nelson.
(For more photos from Wednesday’s game follow the link to the Vipers’ Facebook page.)