The Red Wings, who have won six games in a row, edged arch-rival Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers 3-2 on Sunday afternoon to close to within one point of the second-place Sherwood A&S Scrap Metal Falcons. The Red Wings and Falcons each have one game remaining in the regular season. The Falcons visit the Vipers on Friday night and the Red Wings host the Montague Maniacs at the Evangeline Recreation Centre on Saturday.
The Vipers will then close out the regular season by hosting the Holland College Hurricanes on Sunday. All three games will start at 7 p.m.
The Vipers, who are 15-7-1 (won-lost-overtime/shootout losses) and hold a one-point lead over the Falcons (14-9-2), can clinch first place with a win on Friday or Sunday.
Before 380 fans at Community Gardens, the Red Wings and Vipers treated fans to an exciting finish. With the Red Wings protecting a 3-2 lead, the Vipers scored to even the score with just under five minutes remaining, but the goal was nullified as Kensington forward Brett Hogan was assessed a slashing minor on the play.
Ironically, it was the only penalty assessed to the Vipers in the game by referee Wayne Doyle, who whistled the Red Wings for four minors.
Then shortly after that, Red Wings goaltender Chris Gallant stopped Kensington rookie Jordan Mayhew on a short-handed breakaway attempt. The Vipers also had three faceoffs deep in the Red Wings’ zone in the final minute, but could not net the equalizer.
Fidan Feta scored two goals, including the game-winner at 8:52 of the third period, to lead the Red Wings (14-10-1). Feta’s second goal, a hard shot from the bottom of the left-wing faceoff circle that beat Vipers goaltender Grant Grady up high, made it 3-1.
Tyler Doyle banged home a rebound during a scramble in front of Gallant to bring the Vipers to within 3-2 at 10:51.
Brandon Carter (1-2) scored the other goal for the Red Wings while other assists went to Cleve McNeill, Jeremy Balderston and Carson Trainor.
Tanner McGuigan scored the first Vipers’ goal 56 seconds into the third period after the Red Wings took 1-0 and 2-0 leads into the intermissions. Hogan, Spencer Montgomery and Spencer McAllister added assists.
Overall, the Vipers outshot the Red Wings 51-36.