Pair hit seven as Vipers seal win

MIKE Prpich scored four goals and Jaroslav Rzesutko hit a hat-trick as Newcastle Vipers took out their frustrations on the bottom of the table Edinburgh Capitals.

MIKE Prpich scored four goals and Jaroslav Rzesutko hit a hat-trick as Newcastle Vipers took out their frustrations on the bottom of the table Edinburgh Capitals.

The away day boost came after the Vipers were themselves heavily beaten 7-1 at home by the Belfast Giants on Saturday.

To add to his four goals, Prpich also registered two assists to take his impressive 29-game season total to 43 points (18+25). The Vipers could muster 10 skaters to play against the Caps who had been badly mauled 15-0 by the Braehead Clan on Saturday night.

The Caps’ netminder, Jens Van Poucke, had made 50 saves in 52 minutes against the Clan before being withdrawn to the bench; last night he was beaten for the 16th time of the weekend early on.

It took the Vipers just two minutes to find his net, their player coach Danny Stewart and Mike Prpich combining to set up Kyle Sibley for the score.

It was the defenceman’s 12th goal in 44 matches.

The puck was flying beyond Van Poucke’s reach and into the back of the net a second time during a Vipers’ powerplay on 14 minutes, propelled goalwards by Toms Hartmanis for his 20th goal of the season from 48 starts. The first attack of the second period concluded with the Vipers’ third goal and again Stewart was involved, setting up Prpich for what would turn out to be his first score of the night.

However, two Edinburgh goals in the 26th minute, spaced 28 seconds apart, hit by former Viper Jeff Hutchins, dramatically altered the balance of the game.

The Vipers responded to this double blow by scoring a fourth on 31 minutes and it was Prprich again who shot the puck home, the build-up play featuring the first assist of his short three-game time as a Vipers for defenceman Dan Harris.

Three goals in under two minutes then put the Vipers firmly back in control of the game. Pripich completed his hat-trick in the 35th minute during a powerplay and amazingly, six seconds later he created Jaroslav Rzeszutko’s goal to make it 6-2.

Then in the 37th minute, Paul Sample shot home the seventh goal.

Prpich struck a fourth five minutes into the final period before Rzeszutko became the second Viper to hit a hat-trick, the team’s leading points scorer being successful in front of goal again in the 48th and 50th minutes to increase his total to 21 goals in 39 games.

After Rzeszutko’s second Van Poucke came off the ice, being replaced by Kevin Forshall.

On Saturday night, the Vipers’ 14-16-18 line cut through the Giants’ defence in the second minute to open the scoring, Rzeszutko making the scoring contact.

Michael Hoffman produced a sixth-minute equaliser and the Giants went ahead on a powerplay via Brett Hemingway 38 seconds into the middle period.

Under two minutes later the Vipers went further behind when their former player Colin Shields was successful with a slap-shot, and it was 1-4 when Colin Hemingway capitalised on a powerplay.

The Vipers were being over-run and two goals in the 43rd minute, struck by Brett Hemingway and Craig Peacock, put the Giants in an unassailable position.

The seal was then set on a comfortable victory in the 57th minute by Mark Garside.


CAPITALS: HUTCHINS 2+0, Safar 0+2, Cingel and McKenzie 0 +1.

VIPERS: Prprich 4+2, Rzeszutko 3+1, Sibley 1+4, Hartmanis 1+3, Sample 1+0, Stewart 0+4, Harris and Holland 0+1.


VIPERS: RZESZUTKO 1+0, Hartmanis and Prpich 0+1.

GIANTS: B. Hemingway 2+0, Shields 1+2, C. Garside, Hemingway, Hoffman and Peacock 1+0, Benedict 0+4, Welch 0+3, Prudden 0+2, Gleed and Mason 0+1.


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