Dec 06, 2019 | Winterhawks News | 2251 views
Slow Start Sinks Winterhawks
The Minto 81's scored early and often as they came into The Plex and stole two points from the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks on Friday night.
Minto came out flying, keeping the Winterhawks on their heels, with Zach Graham opening the scoring just 2:14 into the game.
The 81's kept the locomotive heading down the tracks in the 1st period, and Graham again scored at 11:11, getting alone at the side of the net for a tap-in goal on Winterhawks starter Eric Peicheff.
The Winterhawks killed off a Minto power play late in the period, but the 81's struck again moments after the penalty ended, with Mike Pleon sneaking a shot through from the point to make it 3-0.
The home side regrouped during the intermission and came out with energy in the 2nd period, forcing Minto starter Ben Nelson to make several highlight-reel saves to open the period.
Mistakes again cost the Winterhawks, as a botched breakout ended up on the stick of Jake Pleon, who beat Peicheff to make it a 4-0 lead for Minto.
The Winterhawks got on the board at 9:26 of the 2nd period, as Bryan Kazarian pounced on an 81's turnover and broke into the Minto zone, sliding the puck to Trevor Smith, who fired the puck over the shoulder of Nelson to cut the Minto lead to 4-1.
The momentum was short-lived, as Minto forced an odd-man rush at 11:21 and Wade Pfeffer made it a 5-1 lead for the visitors.
The Winterhawks again regrouped during the intermission, and Matt Shields scored at 1:56 to cut the Minto lead to 5-2, with assists to Kazarian and Adam Blundell.
The pressure kept up and Miles MacLean stole the puck from the 81's defender and unleashed a slap shot that beat Nelson at 10:48 to make it a 5-3 game.
The Winterhawks picked up a power play shortly after the goal and despite some chances in close, couldn't beat Nelson.
Peicheff was pulled for an extra attacker late in the game, and the 81's jumped on a turnover for an easy empty net goal to arrive at a 6-3 final.
The loss snaps a three-game winning streak and drops the Winterhawks record to 10-2-0 on the season.
The standings are jam-packed, with the Winterhawks lodged in a three-way tie for 1st place in the WOAA Sr. Hockey League standings, with the Ripley Wolves [10-1-0] and the Clinton Radars [10-4-0], and the Shelburne
Muskies just two points back [9-2-0] in 4th place.
The Winterhawks have an opportunity to atone for the loss, as they head out onto the road tonight [Saturday] to Seaforth to face the 7-3-1 Centenaires at 7:30 p.m.