STRUGGLING in the league, the Vipers did their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the Challenge Cup no end of good with this unexpectedly emphatic win against a team that had beaten them four night before.
Danny Stewart’s side started explosively scoring twice inside the opening minute through Mike Prpich (17 seconds) and Jaroslav Rzeszutko (45 seconds).
The mere matter of 28 seconds later, the Vipers third attack of the night was successfully concluded by Dale Mahovsky, the goal being his 10th of the season.
The trailer in a two on one break away, Rzeszutko made it 4-0 on five minutes and less than two minutes later Jamie Tinsley, making his 24th appearance of the season, belatedly opened his goal scoring account with a shot that flew across goalie Mark McGill’s body.
The goal signalled the end of McGill’s spell between the pipes. In seven minutes and 34 seconds he had conceded five goals from just nine shots on his net.
Capitalising on a rebound Peter Cartwright pulled one back on eight minutes. However, the Vipers went five ahead again through Jamie Carroll (15 minutes) and added another before the break, Toms Hartmanis hitting a powerplay marker on 17 minutes.
The Vipers got off to a good middle period start and the Stars’ usual starting netminder Ladislav Kudrna was flicking the puck out the back of his goal for a third time three minutes following the resumption of play after it had been placed their by Mahovsky.
Before and after Hartmanis had hit his second of the game (34 minutes), Jay Latulippe netted a brace (27 and 38 minutes) for a 9-3 scoreline at 40 minutes.
A minute after play had started in the final period Prpich added his second of the night and third goal of the season on the powerplay to bring up double figures for the home team.
The Vipers’ starting netminder Charlie Effinger was withdrawn on 46 minutes to give Liam McAllister a chance to show what he could do. Effinger had made 15 saves from 18 shots.
McAllister was beaten for the first time on 49 minutes by a shot let go by Ross McIntosh and with just over a minute and a half left to play Hartmanis hit his hat trick marker and 13th goal of the season to complete the rout.
Also among the point scoring on the night was Adam Reynolds, the young British forward who is on a two way contract with the Vipers and Whitely Warriors getting two assists in his first appearance in a Vipers’s shirt at the Whitley Bay Ice Rink.
VIPERS: Hartmanis 3+0, Prpich 2+2, Rzeszutko 2+1, Mahovsky 2+0, Carroll 1+3, Tinsley 1+1, Stewart 0+3, Reynolds, Sample and Zajac 0+2, Holland and Sibly 0+1.
STARS: Latulippe 2+1, Cartwright and McIntosh 1+0, Craig, Harper, Forsyth, Makway, Suderman and Wishart 0+1.