Vipers erupt in third period

Jason Simmonds
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To take commanding lead over Maniacs in final series

KENSINGTON – The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers are one win away from a five-peat in the Island Junior Hockey League.

Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers forward Spencer Montgomery, 12, looks to get his stick on a rebound off a save by Montague Maniacs goaltender Tyler Whiffen during first-period action of Tuesday night’s playoff game.

The Vipers erupted for five unanswered third-period goals, including three in a span of less than two minutes, to break open a close game en route to a 9-4 win over the Montague Maniacs on Tuesday night.

“It was a lot tighter game than that,” said Vipers forward Kyle Doucette, who scored the first two third-period goals. “They (Maniacs) are a good team.”

The win gives the Vipers a commanding 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven championship series. Kensington can win its fifth straight and ninth provincial title in 11 years with a win in Montague on Saturday night in a 7:45 start at the Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre. The Maniacs will be looking to force a Game 5 back in Kensington on Sunday evening.

The Vipers, who are 7-0 (won-lost) in this year’s post-season, won the first two games of the series 7-3 and 7-6 in overtime.

Period scores

Before 514 fans at Community Gardens, the Vipers jumped out to an early 2-0 lead, but the Maniacs came back to take their only lead of the game, 3-2. The Vipers evened the score 3-3 before the first intermission, and the teams went into the dressing rooms after 40 minutes tied 4-4.

 “I thought we played pretty well,” assessed Doucette. “We usually start off well in the first, the second isn’t our best period and we came out strong in the third and took it to them.”

Winning goal

Doucette scored what proved to be the game-winning goal at 8:59 of third period, tapping in a rebound on the short side past Montague goaltender Tyler Whiffen. Doucette than made it 6-4 at 13:17 as he converted a beautiful pass from linemate Jordan Mayhew, who assisted on three third-period goals and scored a short-handed marker in the first period to finish with a game-high four points.

“I have to give a lot of credit to Jordan Mayhew for making some great passes to me,” said Doucette.

Matt Stead (14:27), Tanner McGuigan (14:57), with his second of the night, and Jeremy Jollimore (17:53) rounded out the third-period scoring for the Vipers. Brett Hogan and Ryan Kelly also scored for the Vipers, who received assists from Morgan Walker (3), Jollimore, Drew Coulson, Morgan Murphy, Spencer McAllister, Spencer Montgomery and Josh Bowman.

Damon MacDonald led the Maniacs with a goal and two assists. Matt Higgins (1-1), Stewart Branstrom and Matt Myers also lit the lamp. Single helpers were credited to Alex Gallant, Luke Collings, Peter MacLeod, Connor Myers and Matt Cox.

Grant Grady registered the goaltending win.

Organizations: Cavendish Farms Wellness Centre

Geographic location: Kensington, Montague, Community Gardens

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