Meeting in the GOJHL Western Conference Quarterfinals for the second time in three years, the LaSalle Vipers and Chatham Maroons will continue a rivalry that has much familiarity.
The 4. vs. 5. matchup in this year’s Western Conference playoffs, the two teams come in fully expecting a very tight set of games despite a lopsided regular-season series. The fourth-seeded Vipers won five of those six games and outscored Chatham 38-15 due to a few blowout wins earlier in the season. The Maroons however carry the momentum coming in as they won the most recent game by a score of 3-2 on February 2 in Chatham, and have certainly been a much improved team since Tyler Roeszler took over as head coach.
The two teams last met in the playoffs in the 2017-18 season in what was a memorable first-round series that ended with the Maroons capturing Game 7 on the road in LaSalle. This edition of the rivalry features much more familiarity with numerous players having played with and against each other for many years. A large contingent of players on either side have been both friend and foe in recent years, several of whom were teammates as recent as last year. Most notable in that group is Maroons forward AJ Ryan who played the previous two seasons and a part of the current one in a Vipers uniform.
Game 1 in the best-of-seven series goes tonight at the Vollmer Recreation Complex in LaSalle with a 7:00 PM start time. There will then be little time to dwell on the result as a quick turnaround sees the two teams get right back at it for Game 2 on Thursday night in Chatham.
4. LaSalle Vipers vs. 5. Chatham Maroons
By The Numbers:
25-19-1-5, 56 pts 21-18-1-10, 53 pts
HOME: 14-10-0-1 HOME: 11-9-1-4
AWAY: 11-9-1-4 AWAY: 10-9-0-6
GF: 201 (4th) GF: 206 (3rd)
GA: 163 (4th) GA: 233 (8th)
PIM: 782 PIM: 839
PP: 14.5% (9th) PP: 18.1% (6th)
PK: 83% (4th) PK: 74% (8th)