Tyler Newsham’s shootout goal was the winner as the Three Hills Thrashers edged the Red Deer Vipers 6-5 in Heritage Junior Hockey League action Saturday at the Arena.
Declan Johnston, at 2:11 of the third period, and Brett Marsollier, with a power-play marker at 15 minutes later, pulled the Vipers even and forced a scoreless overtime frame and the ensuing shootout.
Also scoring for the Vipers in their season home-opener were Matt Krusky, Anthony Neurauter and Tye Munro. Patrick Fougere, with a pair, Cody Phillips, Jesse Morrison, and Tom Vanderline notched the other Three Hills goals.
Greg Pols came up big in the Thrashers net, turning aside 44 shots. Mack Patchett made 30 saves for Red Deer.
The Vipers’ fell 5-2 to the host Okotoks Bisons in their regular season opener Friday. Brett Hoppus and Dustin Spearing potted the Red Deer goals.
Rylan Bardick stopped 40 shots for the Vipers, who were zero-for-eight on the power play. Bisons netminder Draven Rees made 31 saves.
Elsewhere, the Blackfalds Wranglers opened their season Sunday with an 8-2 trouncing of the visiting Airdrie Thunder, getting a 33-save performance from Klay Munro and three goals from Wally Samson.
Bryce Boguski scored twice for the Wranglers, with Andrew McLennan, Garrett Glasman and Toran Corbier also connecting. Tyrell McCubbing assisted on four goals and Bryce Marshall contributed a trio of helpers.
Airdrie outshot Blackfalds 35-29.
In other Heritage League weekend games:
• The Stettler Lightning opened their season with a bang Saturday, zapping the host Medicine Hat Cubs 10-5.
Dylan Houston and Derek Muhlbach both rang up six points for the visitors, with two goals and four assists apiece. Kieran Rost was close behind with two goals and three helpers.
The other Stettler goals came off the sticks of DJ Kistner, Steven Fletcher, Logan Davidson and Linden Heidecker.
Taylor McLaughin made 22 saves for the Lightning, who fired 49 shots at Cubs goaltender Dan Maier.
• The Ponoka Stampeders dropped both ends of a home-and-home set, falling 8-2 to the visiting Mountainview Colts Saturday, 24 hours after losing 9-2 to the Colts at Didsbury.
Nate Higgans and Kacey Straub accounted for the Stamps goals at Didsbury, where the Colts led 5-0 after one period and 6-0 heading into the final frame.
Carter Gendreau and Brody MacDonald combined to make 39 saves for the Stamps, who were outshot 48-33.