It was a thrilling finish to an exciting game when Jeff MacDermid jammed home a puck in overtime for a 6-5 win over the Durham Thundercats advancing the Winterhawks to the second round.
The Hawks second round opponent is not yet known as they await the completion of the Mapleton Tillsonburg series and the Clinton Tavistock series.
The first period was all Durham as the Winterhawks came out flat while the Thundercats played like a team with its back to the wall. Randy Cox scored a minute and a half into the game after the Winterhawks struggled to clear the zone.
The Hawks struggles in their own zone continued later in the first as Ben Davis beat Jeff Flagler on the short side to make it 2-0.
A different Winterhawks team came flying out of the gate for the second period as the Hawks scored a shorthanded goal two minutes in as Andy Fracz buried a pass from Andy Mitchell.
Durham battled back two minutes later as Tom Longland scored an unassisted goal batting a bouncing puck past Flagler.
The end to end action continued and the Hawks answered back 20 seconds later with Andy Fracz, Alex Kuntz and Chris King showed some great hustle with Fracz scoring his second of the game to make it 3-2.
Fans had to wait a full 18 seconds for the next goal as Ben Davis restored the two goal margin for Durham.
Brendon Haefling, playing one of his best games of the season, powered through the Durham defence and beat Durham goalie Gatlin Burt with a shot that Burt got a piece of but couldn’t hold onto.
The Winterhawks power play, that has struggled to produce goals in this series, finally clicked as Coach Jim Grieve, who had been utilizing five forwards, changed tactics and sent big Theo Peckham to the front of the net. The move paid off as Trent Hawke corralled a rebound and fired one past Burt to tie the game.
The Hawks took their first lead of the game when Jeff MacDermid was awarded a penalty shot late in the third and beat Burt cleanly with a shot to the glove side.
It looked like that might seal the deal for the Hawks but a late penalty led to a power play goal for Durham’s Derek Matheson setting the stage for MacDermid’s overtime heroics.
Following the goal, Burt, who has a reputation and a history as a loose cannon, tried to mix it up with the Winterhawks who were celebrating. he then punched Theo Peckham as the two teams were shaking hands and later went into the stands after leaving the ice to try and get at a Winterhawks fan.
There were several Saugeen Shores Police on hand and they quickly restored order.