Kolton Gillett completed a hat trick with an overtime goal as the Red Deer Vipers slipped past the Airdrie Thunder 5-4 in their Heritage Junior B Hockey League season-opener Saturday at the Arena.
Gillett notched the Vipers’ final three goals, also connecting in the second and third periods. Jeff Kohut and Cole DeGraaf also tallied for the winners, who outshot their guests 45-26 while getting a 22-save performance from Jayden Adrian.
Airdrie was assessed eight of 14 minor penalties.
In another Saturday contest, the visiting Ponoka Stampeders were 8-6 winners over the Mountainview Colts. Details were unavailable.
On Friday, Jake Schwarzenberger notched two goals to lead the host Stettler Lightning to a 5-4 victory over the Three Hills Thrashers.
Scott Ternes, Kyler O’Connor and Wyat Haustein also scored for the Lightning. Tyrel Severtson tallied twice for the Thrashers, who got additional goals from Connor Ablett and Joel Harrison.
Simon Thieleman turned aside 37 shots for Stettler. Three Hills netminder Brady Hoover made 31 saves.
Three Hills took 13 of 24 minor penalties.
Meanwhile, Ponoka was thumped 10-0 at Airdrie. Stamps netminders Aaron Swier and Eli Falls combined to make 37 saves as the visitors were outshot 47-18.