Red Deer Vipers forward Declan Johnson (19) celebrates one of two first period goals in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Heritage Junior B Hockey League North Division Final series with the Airdrie Thunder on Wednesday night at the Servus Arena. (Photo by BYRON HACKETT/Advocate Staff)

Vipers take bite out of Airdrie in Game 1

Red Deer leads the best-of-seven series

The Red Deer Vipers battled to a 6-4 victory in Game 1 of their best-of-seven Heritage Junior B Hockey League North Division final Wednesday at Servus Arena.

The Vipers jumped out to a 4-1 lead in the first period. Declan Johnson notched a pair of tallies, while Mack Differenz a power-player play marker and Ben Shushovsky scored short-handed late in the frame.

Airdrie stormed back with two goals from Zachary Giroux in the second, but Lane Sim responded early in the third to extend the Vipers lead.

Bailey Lawson scored the Vipers sixth goal midway through the third.

Logan Linnell and Aidan Wilson each added a pair of assists for the Vipers and Branden Bilodeau made 38 saves in the win, including 18 in the second period.

Game 2 goes Friday in Airdrie before the series shifts back to Red Deer for game 3 on Saturday night. Puck drop is 8 p.m. at Servus Arena.

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