LEAMINGTON WINS ANOTHER ROUND IN THE BATTLE OF ESSEX COUNTY

Flyers Win Another Round In The Battle of Essex County – by C. Scott holland

Thursday night’s battle between the Leamington Flyers and LaSalle Vipers was another one with strange twists and turns. But the outcome was the same as the two team’s first meeting in Leamington. The Flyers used a four-goal second frame outburst to win 5-1.

It was 0-0 after a single stanza and a lot of the credit to that went to Vipers netminder Dershahn Stewart who stopped 15 Leamington shots. At the other end Connor Meyerink halted six.

The second period fireworks began just seconds into the frame when Vipers’ forward Broden Moloche intercepted the puck and he went on a two-nobody breakaway with Tyler Russell. Russell’s second shot eluded Meyerink and it was 1-0. That tally at 17 seconds certainly shocked the Flyers into action. However the Flyers dug down even deeper in what was already a quick and physical contest. Andrew Thoms and Dylan Weston laid the groundwork for Cory Schneider who drilled a right lane screen shot past Stewart to knot the contest at 4:33. Less than a minute later Griffin Robinson initiated a textbook tic-tac-toe play which ended with Josh Pope-Ferguson feeding Blake Bin who slotted the tally on Stewart’s open right side. Not to be outdone, Colton O’Brien started a solar play at 7:31 only going the opposite way with Zach Guilbeault being the middleman and Maddux Rychel triggering the goal. For Rychel it was his first goal since returning to action after a layoff of about five weeks. The Flyers got more insurance about two minutes later when Dalton Langlois and Schneider banged at the puck on a goalmouth scramble before Preston Corp knocked it past Stewart. The remainder of period featured plenty of good body checks and the Flyers controlling much of the play.

Despite the fact that the Vipers out-hustled the Flyers throughout most of the third, Leamington added one last salva. Blake Johnson deftly manoeuvred around the Vipers’ defense barely maintaining puck control and cleanly beat the LaSalle netminder to make it 5-1. The Vipers pelted Meyerink with 15 shots and did have a couple power play opportunities but the Leamington goalie stoned them. Among the highlights was a wicked rebound on which Meyerick stretched out his pads and halted a shot that was destined for the low left corner.

Combined with Sarnia taking London in overtime the Flyers’ lead remains comfortable.

Not dressed for the contest for LaSalle were: Brendan Soto, Brett Vorshuk and Caneron Cianek. The Vipers had an AP Dylan Bradley (15) and Brad Vincent in their lineup. The Flyers countered by sitting Parker Jacques (suspension), Nathan Skulley and Jake Nimmo.  Next game up for the Flyers is in St. Thomas on Friday night and a home game on Sunday vs Sarnia. It will be Sarnia’s first game in Leamington this season and a game where fans can get a free slice of Domino’s pizza – game time is 4:10 pm.

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