Vipers have strong opening week

Geoff Puchala tries to wrap one around Edson’s net Saturday night. The Vipers defeated the Edson Ice 12-5, their second win this season. – Stephen Dafoe Photo

By Stephen Dafoe

Legal – The Legal Vipers played to a full house Saturday night, giving their fans what they came for, a NCHL home opener victory. After picking up a 4-1 road victory over the Drayton Valley Wildcats Oct. 16, the Vipers sank their fangs into the Edson Ice, handily defeating the visiting club 12-5.

Vipers President George Prefontaine said he was pleased to pick up four points right out of the gate this season and hoped it was a sign of things to come.

The Vipers got off to a good start Saturday night, leading the Ice 2-0 by the end of the first period and outshooting their opponent 10-5. But the Vipers built considerable momentum in the middle frame.

The Vipers third goal of the game was scored in the first two minutes of the second period and was followed by another two within the next two minutes to give the Vipers a 5-0 lead over Edson. Although the Ice answered back with a goal of their own, the Vipers sunk another three into the Ice’s net before Edson scored their second of the game.

Heading into the third period leading Edson 8-3 and outshooting them 26-16, the Vipers had little problem maintaining their lead for the remainder of the contest.

Although both sides failed to ripple their opponent’s mesh for the first half of the third period, The Vipers picked up another two within one minute, goals that were answered by two from the Ice late in the frame. With less than three minutes left in the game, the Vipers picked up their 11th at 2:30 and capped it with their 12th 28 seconds later at 2:02. The final score was 12-5 in Legal’s favour, with the Vipers taking nearly double the scoring chances at 42-24.

The Vipers take to the road this Wednesday to take on the Onaway Ice Dogs, a club the Vipers struggled with last season. The club follow Wednesday’s road game with two more away games – Rocky Mountain House Oct. 30 and Slave Lake Nov. 6. The Vipers return to the Legal Arena Nov. 10 for a second outing against Onaway. Game time for the home-ice contest is 8 p.m.

The Vipers launch one of 42 shots on Edson’s net Saturday night. The Vipers outshot the Ice 42 – 24.
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