NATS WIN 7-2 SENDING THEM TO THE WOC FINALS
Date: Mar 21, 2019
By Gary Rennie
LEAMINGTON – Exploiting turnovers and defensive breakdowns, the Leamington Flyers are now up a game on their Essex County rivalry with the LaSalle Vipers this season.
The Vipers mounted a furious second period rally to tie the game at 3-3, but gave up two quick goals midway through the third period Thursday to fall 5-3 to the Flyers on the road.
The team was pumped to come out for the third period, but some poor-decision making at critical moments nullified the effort that went into the earlier comeback, thought Vipers’ head coach John Nelson.
“We’re giving up too many 2-on-1s,” Nelson said. It’s been a problem in other games as well, and it’s disappointing that some of the lessons from past games’ mistakes haven’t been learned, he said.
“We just have to learn from today,” he said.
Nelson didn’t see the adaption to the Olympic-size ice in Leamington as an issue. Some of the poor decisions made are being made in other rinks, he said.
Maybe conditioning is an issue with the back-to-back game following the 4-3 win over Sarnia Wednesday, Nelson said.
Nelson praised goalie Will Tragge for giving the team a chance to win. “I love the way he’s playing.”
The Vipers’ were down 1-0 on a first period power play goal but getting good scoring chances. Vipers’ defence man Dean Albano tied the game just two minutes into the second period.
The Flyers built a two-goal lead midway through the second period with two in less than three minutes. But the Vipers’ rallied in the last five minutes of the period with goals by Jack Bowler and Kory Silverio a little over a minute apart.
The Flyers pulled ahead with two goals in a 36-second span just past the halfway point of the third period. Three Vipers’ penalties in the last six minutes of the game reduced the opportunities for another comeback.
The Vipers’ defence took four of the team’s five penalties in the game and the other was a bench minor. The defence also played key roles in all three goals, with Albano scoring one and Abouzeeni and Dylan Robinson getting assists on the other two.
Tragge stopped 28 of 33 shots. Flyers’ goalie Zach Borghiel stopped 28 of 31 shots.
With an assist on Albano’s goal, Bowler had a two point night.
(To see more photos from Thursday's game, check out the team's Facebook page using the link on the website.)