Vipers bear Thunder in overtime

Cole DeGraaf scored at 4:32 of the second overtime period to give the Red Deer Vipers a 4-3 win over the Airdrie Thunder in a Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoff game Saturday at the Arena.

Cole DeGraaf scored at 4:32 of the second overtime period to give the Red Deer Vipers a 4-3 win over the Airdrie Thunder in a Heritage Junior B Hockey League playoff game Saturday at the Arena.

The victory gave the Vipers a 3-2 lead in the best-of-seven Northern Division quarter-final. The sixth and possibly final game goes tonight at 8 p.m. in Airdrie.

A seventh-game if necessary, will be played Wednesday at the Arena with an 8:15 p.m. start.

Goals by Tanner Howe, Jeffery Kohut and Chris Robertson staked the Vipers to a 3-1 lead Saturday, but Airdrie’s Alex Hustad scored a power-play tally late in the second period and added his second of the game with 49 seconds remaining in the third period to force extra time. Gavin Klein notched the other Thunder goal.

Brenden Mandrusiak turned aside 46 shots in the Red Deer net. Airdrie goaltender Kade Taplin made 54 saves.

The Thunder tied the series 2-2 at home Friday, getting goals from Elex Diduch, Aidan Crowther and Daniel Hounjet in a 3-1 victory. Jonathan notched the lone Vipers goal.

Taplin stood tall in the Thunder net, stopping 47 of 48 shots. Mandrusiak made 33 saves for the Vipers.

l The Blackfalds Wranglers made short work of the Mountainview Colts in the other Northern quarter-final, completing a sweep of the series with a 7-2 triumph Saturday at Didsbury.

Jared Guilbault paced the visitors with a hat-trick performance, while Jared Williams tallied twice and Chance Abbott and Stephen Pietsch each scored once. Evan Ingram had both goals for the losers.

Wranglers goaltender Thomas Isaman made 29 saves. Michael Byer stopped 48 shots in a losing cause.

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