Winterhawks seek to end series with Durham on Friday

One thing is for certain, the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks do not want another three-game weekend.

The Winterhawks enter play this weekend up 3-1 in their series, needing only one win to eliminate the Durham Thundercats and advance to the W.O.A.A. Sr. AA semifinals.

Their first crack at it comes in Game 5 on Friday night at The Plex, which is scheduled for an 8:30 p.m. puck drop.

Head Coach Jim Grieve admits playing three games over the course of last weekend took its toll on the team, giving his troops credit for a full 60-minute effort on Sunday, despite tired legs.

He says they need to take advantage of the opportunity to avoid another three-game weekend, which is how it would play out if the series goes the full seven games.

“For sure, we’d love to finish the series on Friday, we love playing at home,” said Grieve. “We’ve done a lot of good things at home this year and that is where I’m hoping we can finish off this series.”

If required, Game 6 would go on Saturday evening in Durham at 5:30 p.m. and a deciding Game 7 would be played on Sunday afternoon at The Plex at 4:30 p.m.

The lineup received a boost ahead of Game 4 when the trio of Trent Hawke, Alex Penner and Andy Fracz returned to the lineup, and there should be another lift this Friday as Jeff MacDermid is eligible to return after serving a one-game suspension.

Prior to the series, Grieve suggested he would rotate between goaltenders Blake Sinclair and Jeff Flagler, but admitted Flagler had likely earned the Game 5 start after a solid showing in Game 4.

“Yeah, I think so, we’ll discuss it and reevaluate during the week, but he played a great game and held us in there,” said Grieve.

The Winterhawks are not the only team with an opportunity to advance on Friday, as the Petrolia Squires hold a 3-1 series lead on the Ripley Wolves and could move on with a win at home in Game 5.

Elsewhere, the Tillsonburg Thunder have roared back in their series with Mapleton-Minto to knot it up at 2-2, while Clinton and Tavistock have alternated wins in their series, which also sits at 2-2.

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