By Rob Benneian
(LaSALLE, ON) – The LaSalle Vipers defeated the St Thomas Stars 4-1 Sunday afternoon at the Vollmer Centre to even their record at 15-15-0. Tyler Russell’s first period goal gave LaSalle a lead they would not relinquish and Dalton Langlois finished off a pretty tic-tac-toe passing play, with Manny Silverio and Brendan Harrogate, for the eventual game-winner.
Eric Kirby swatted home a loose puck in front of the Stars net to snuff out any Stars comeback hopes, just minutes after Jordan Babb ruined Eli Billing’s shut out bid, and cut the Vipers lead to one goal.
Chris Pignanelli was awarded an empty net goal in the final minute when a Stars player covered the puck with his hand in the crease, after goaltender Nikolas Dampier had been pulled for an extra attacker.
The Vipers have now won two in a row after dropping five straight.
“[Coach Bowler] has been preaching that it all comes down to hard work,” Vipers captain Brett Langlois said following the win. “We’ve proven that the last two games; you pay the price, you do the little things right, you’re going to be rewarded at the end of the day.”
Billing was spectacular in goal for LaSalle, making 25 saves to pick up the win. Dampier stopped 43 shots in the losing effort.
LaSalle will host the last place St Marys Lincolns Wednesday night during the annual Collins Barrow Teddy Bear game night, the Vipers’ last home game before the Christmas break. The Vipers are asking all fans to bring in a new, unwrapped toy or a teddy bear to donate to the LaSalle Fire Service’s Sparky’s Toy Drive.