LaSalle Vipers Jr. B Hockey
Vipers, Maroons to square off in Round 2
The LaSalle Vipers will take on the third seed Chatham Maroons in the second round of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Western Conference Playoffs.
The best-of-seven series will begin Wednesday night at the Vollmer Centre with LaSalle native and Super Bowl Champion Luke Willson performing the ceremonial faceoff.
The Vipers and Maroons each won three games in their regular season series, with LaSalle holding a 3-2-1 edge courtesy of an overtime loss.
ROUND 2 SCHEDULE
Wednesday, March 12 Chatham @ LaSalle - 7 pm
Vipers eliminate Stars with 7-3 home win
LaSalle Vipers Devon Paliani (left) and Andrew Burns celebrate a first period goal against the St. Thomas Stars Wednesday night at the Vollmer. The Vipers won 7-3 to win the best-of-seven series 4-1. (Photo by/Irma Tremblay)
The LaSalle Vipers advanced to the second round of the Greater Ontario Junior Hockey League Western Conference playoffs Wednesday night with a 7-3 Game 5 win over the St. Thomas Stars in front of 776 fans, winning the best-of-seven series four games to one.
A four-goal Vipers outburst spanning the second and third periods gave the Vipers their winning margin, as Dylan Denomme's hat trick was interrupted only by Devon Paliani's GOJHL-best eighth goal of the playoffs.
"I thought we responded great," Denomme said. "I think all the boys are learning and it's great. I'm pumped for the next series."
The teams traded goals over the first two periods, as LaSalle's Andrew Burns and St. Thomas captain Alex Morgan both found the back of the net in the first period.
Vipers forward Blake Jones and Stars forward Spencer Hutchinson each scored in the second period before the Vipers erupted offensively, cued by Denomme's first of three on the night.
Aaron Luchuk's empty netter with 15 seconds left sealed the victory and send the Vipers into a second round matchup with the third seed Chatham Maroons.
"It feels great, I haven't been there (the second round) in three years," Denomme said. "I'm ecstatic right now, I'm so excited."
The full second round schedule will be posted when it becomes available.
Game note: Shane Bowler, who played for the Windsor Bulldogs - a previous incarnation of the LaSalle Vipers franchise - attended the game. Bowler won the CHOK Most Valuable Player award in 1990-91 with the Bulldogs and is the brother of Vipers head coach Bill Bowler.