The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks wrapped up the regular season with a 6-1 win over the Durham Thundercats on Friday night.
The Winterhawks finished the season with 18 wins, one loss and one overtime loss and they now await the final games of the weekend to learn who they will face in the first round.
The Thundercats showed up with only nine skaters and the Winterhawks made them pay skating them relentlessly as the Hawks rolled four lines and fired 48 shots at Durham goalie Gatlin Burt.
The game started with a bang and an early exit for Alex Penner who took exception to a slash from Durham’s Dean Nixon and started throwing haymakers that saw him ejected before the five minute mark in the first period.
On the ensuing Durham power play, Bryan Kazarian stripped the puck off a Thundercats defender and beat Burt with a stellar goalmouth move to make it 1-0.
Scott Sandercock replied with a power play goal in the first as the Thundercats battled with Burt making several sensational saves.
The first period also featured a thundering open ice hit by Theo Peckham that had the fans buzzing and a Durham player wishing he had of kept his head up when crossing the blue line.
The Winterhawks skating game started to wear down the visitors in the second period as the Hawks were buzzing the net constantly and Curtis Johnston eventually netted his 18th goal of the season to make it 2-1.
Jeff MacDermid sped over the blue line and fired a bullet past Burt to make it 3-1 five minutes into the second.
Bryan Kazarian tipped a point shot from Mike Smailes after the Winterhawks killed off a questionable goalie interference penalty to Jeff MacDermid. The Hawks thought they had a goal but it was waved off and MacDermid was sent to the box although it appeared he was pushed into Burt.
James McHaig scored in the third and the Hawks rounded out the scoring with a Curtis Johnston blast with 44 seconds left in the game.
The Winterhawks will learn their playoff opponent at the conclusion of Saturday’s schedule, and will face either Durham or the Tillsonburg Thunder, depending on the outcome of the game in Seaforth between Tillsonburg and Huron East.