Josh King warms up with the Chatham Maroons before their playoff game against the LaSalle Vipers at the Vollmer Complex in LaSalle, March 11, 2018. Photo by Mike Regnier.

Maroons Advance, Beat LaSalle 4-2 in Game 7

There’s more hockey to play for the Chatham Maroons.

The Maroons scored three straight goals in the third period and knuckled down on defence to beat the LaSalle Vipers 4-2 in the deciding Game 7 of their first-round junior-B playoff series.

Chatham goaltender Ryan Wagner, who had 31 stops between the pipes, says the team came out of the dressing room after the second intermission with a plan.

“I think we were a bit more focused, and I think once we got that second one we started rolling with the momentum, and it really carried us,” says Wagner.

Wagner says the Vipers always play hard in their own building, and his teammates were ready to match wits with a formidable opponent.

“They did a really good job of pushing guys wide and not getting too many shots up the middle, really picking up guys from the front,” says Wagner. “They did a really good job today.”

There was no scoring in the first period at a sold-out Vollmer Complex. LaSalle had two power play opportunities and Chatham one. Shots on goal were close with the Vipers holding an 8-7 edge.

The Vipers took the first lead of the game at 2:19 in the middle period when Brett Vorshuk found the net. The Maroons tied it up before the intermission on a Tyler Beneteau goal.


HEAR THE BENETEAU GOAL CALL FROM THE CFCO BROADCAST:


The Chatham offence exploded in the third period with three goals over a six-minute span. Dane Johnstone scored on the power play at 6:02 to give the Maroons the lead. Justin Badour followed suit less than two minutes later, and Jordan Frasca scored an insurance goal with an extra-man advantage. The Vipers got one back at 15:07 when goalie Dershahn Stewart was pulled for the extra attacker and Frank Zak found the net.

The Maroons defence tightened up and did not allow another goal the rest of regulation. Stewart finished with 25 saves for LaSalle.


HEAR THE FINAL CALL FROM THE CFCO BROADCAST OF GAME 7:


Chatham will take on the top-seeded London Nationals, beginning that series on the road. Wagner says he believes the Maroons have an advantage as they await the details for the next round.

“I think it kind of helps us a little bit,” says Wagner. “That way we’ll be ready. We’re still in game shape while they’ve had a week off where all they did was practice. We’re firing on all cylinders.”

The schedule for the next round has yet to be determined.