Vipers grab commanding lead of IJHL playoff series

Jason Simmonds
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Kensington crushes Western Red Wings to grab 3-0 lead

KENSINGTON — The Kensington Moase Plumbing and Heating Vipers are one win away from returning to the Island Junior Hockey League championship series.

The Vipers, who have won four provincial titles in a row, routed the Western Arsenault’s Fish Mart Red Wings 8-0 on Thursday night to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven semifinal series.

The Vipers will go for the sweep at the Evangeline Recreation Centre in Abram-Village on Saturday in a 7 p.m. start.

Before an estimated 450 fans at Community Gardens, the Vipers opened the scoring at 4:59 of the first period. Jordan Mayhew found Ty Price, who beat Red Wings goaltender Chris Gallant with a one-timer from the slot.

Matt Stead raced down the left wing and beat Gallant high on the glove side at 7:46 to make it 2-0.

Zen Hamil scored off another Mayhew pass at 16:54 to put the Vipers up 3-0 after 20 minutes.

Spencer McAllister (9:07 and 13:31), Spencer Montgomery (11:57) and Morgan Murphy (19:16) scored second-period goals to increase the Vipers’ lead to 7-0 after 40 minutes.

Hamil closed out the game’s scoring at 4:16 of the third period.

Morgan Walker quietly had a strong game offensively for the Vipers, contributing four assists. Single helpers went to Josh Bowman, Brett Hogan, Adam Wight, Brandon Gallant and Jeremy Jollimore.

Vipers goaltender Grant Grady turned in a solid 38-save performance. His best save of the night was a glove snag off Robbie Fraser with 2:41 to go in the first period. Gallant faced 48 shots.

Each team picked up five minors, one 10-minute misconduct, three fighting majors and three game misconducts.

All three fights took place in the third period, with the first coming at the three-second mark and the other two just two seconds apart six minutes in.

Organizations: Island Junior Hockey League, Evangeline Recreation Centre, Red Wings

Geographic location: Kensington, Abram-Village, Community Gardens

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