Vipers experience mixed bag weekend

By Staff

Legal – It was a two-point weekend for the Legal Vipers Jan. 15 and 16. The club handily extinguished the flames of the struggling Hinton Heat with an 11-5 decision Saturday night but fell from a five-goal lead against the Slave Lake Winter Hawks Sunday afternoon to lose the contest 6-5.

The win and loss bring the Vipers’ record to 10-7-0 on the season and position them in fourth slot in the North Central Hockey League standings, seven points behind the third-seated Winter Hawks and just one point ahead of the Edson Ice.

Saturday night’s contest against the Heat (5-13-1) was no surprise. The Vipers were two goals into the Heats net before the struggling club answered back with one of their own. By period’s end the Vipers had built a five-goal lead at 6-1. During that opening frame Ryan Ternowski earned a hat trick for his efforts, accumulating half of the Vipers’ six-goal tally.

Second period game play saw the Heat outscoring the Vipers by a margin of three to two, but the period ended with the Vipers leading 8-4.

Although the Heat closed the margin by one more goal early in the final frame, the Vipers added another three before the end of the period to earn an 11-5 victory.

Sunday’s contest against the 13-4-1 Slave Lake Winter Hawks started off with a similar lead for the Vipers. Seven minutes into the middle frame, the Vipers had achieved a 5-0 lead over the Winter Hawks; however, a rash of penalties midway through the period allowed the Hawks to capitalize on their own powerplay advantages, narrowing the gap to 5-2 by the end of the period.

The Vipers continued to spend time in the sin bin during the final period, allowing Slave Lake to bring the game to a 5-5 tie with just three minutes left in regulation play. With one minute left in the contest, the Winter Hawks picked up their sixth goal, one that remained unanswered by the Vipers during the final minute of play.

The Vipers have three games this week. They will play a make up game against the Onoway Ice Dogs Wednesday night at 8:30 p.m. in Legal and take to the road this weekend to take on the Winter Hawks Friday and the Edson Ice Saturday.

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