Winterhawks prepare for big weekend; set playoff roster

With 15 wins in a row under their belt, the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks are focusing on another accomplishment as they get set for action this weekend.

The Winterhawks (15-1-0) have a pair of road games as they not only look to extend their winning streak, but clinch 1st place in the WOAA Sr. Hockey League.

They will travel to Palmerston on Friday night for a rematch with the Mapleton-Minto 81’s (12-2-0), fresh off defeating the 81’s by a score of 6-4 this past past Saturday.

Head Coach Jim Grieve expects to be greeted by a fired-up Mapleton-Minto squad.

“It has become a rivalry, that’s for sure, both teams look forward to these games,” said Grieve. “We just have to stick to our game and do the things that have made us successful this season.”

Wins have been elusive for the Winterhawks in Palmerston, they haven’t come out on top in game there in nearly five years, dating back to January 22, 2012.

On Saturday, the Winterhawks will hit the road again for an early game in Durham, facing off against the Thundercats at 5:00 p.m.

They haven’t faced the Thundercats yet this season, with a previously scheduled encounter in Port Elgin snowed out in December.

The high-flying Thundercats, who lead the league in goals-for with 6.07 goals per game, but also are prone to giving them up, surrendering an average of 4.93 goals against per game, the 9th-best in the league.

Randy Cox leads Durham’s attack, with 37 points in 14 games entering the weekend, while Trevor Hughson and Chris Brown each have 24 points on the season.

If the Winterhawks can defeat Mapleton-Minto in regulation and defeat Durham (regulation or overtime/shootout), they would clinch 1st place in the league.

ROSTER SET: The Winterhawks have set their 2017 playoff roster, as required by the WOAA. The league requires teams to cut down to a 26-man roster by January 10th, which the Winterhawks have done.

The playoff roster is comprised as follows:

FORWARDS: Chris King, Brendon Haefling, Bryan Kazarian, Jay Thomson, James McHaig, Andy Mitchell, Andy Fracz, Michael Johnstone, Blake Underwood, Jeff MacDermid, Brent MacDermid, Curtis Johnston, Alex Penner, Trent Hawke, Alex Kuntz.

DEFENCE: Jacob Brown, Greg Thede, Mike Smailes, Nick Quaid, Brett Brophy, Trevor Smith, Theo Peckham, Adam Little

GOALTENDERS: Richard Harris, Jeff Flagler, Blake Sinclair

The Winterhawks have released Matt Tutin, Shelby Simmons, Jordan Roulston, Justin Ainslie, Justin Mathias and Curtis Warren. We thank them for their commitment and dedication to the Winterhawks.

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