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Vipers Complete Championship Sweep On Home Ice

The Canadian American Junior Hockey League Championship can now call Vegreville home. The Vipers nailed down the first title in franchise history on Sunday, doubling up Hinton 4-2 to sweep their championship series three games to none. Things got started in the second period. After a scoreless first, Hinton drew first blood, getting a goal from Noah White. The Vipers would finally get their first of the afternoon with less than two minutes to play in the second. Jeremy Gamache tipped one through on the powerplay and things headed to the third tied at 1-1. Midway through the final frame, Matej Knaze potted one to put Vegreville on top only to see Alac Rice respond less than a minute later, knotting things at 2-2. With less than six minutes to play, the Vipers struck again. With a delayed penalty coming, they got the extra skater onto the ice. A point shot from Tanner Hampton was redirected home by captain Braden Van De Kraats, putting the Snakes up 3-2. Carson Pewarchuk added an insurance marker and the Vipers celebrated their first CAJHL title. Netminder Bence Pal put together a brilliant performance, stopping 49 of 51 shots in the victory. He finished the playoffs with a 2.33 goals against average and a sparkling .942 save percentage. Head Coach Thomas Tookey said when things were tight, it was all about staying calm.

As the team celebrated their big win, Coach Tookey complimented their compete level throughout the deciding game.

The title win is the first for the Vipers and it’s made a little extra sweet after losing to Hinton in last year’s championship.

The celebration begins as time ticks off the clock in the third period.

Captain Braden Van De Kraats (#24) was a crucial part of his team’s victory. The veteran netted the game-winner and added an assist.

Netminder Bence Pal was a rock between the pipes in game three, stopping 49 of 51 shots.

Carson Pewarchuk celebrates his third period goal with teammates. The goal put the Snakes up 4-2.

The Vipers and Timberwolves exchange handshakes after a hard-fought series.

The Vipers veterans accept the Champions Cup and banner.

Local fan favourite Colby Warawa takes his lap with the Champions Cup.

The photo every hockey player wants to be in. Congrats, Vipers!

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