The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks fell behind early, but scored six unanswered goals to take a 6-2 victory over the visiting Petrolia Squires on Friday night at The Plex.
It wasn't a start for the highlight reel for the 'Hawks, who struggled early on as they adapted to the checking style of the Squires squad.
Petrolia jumped out to 1-0 lead as Winterhawks starter Eric Peicheff made the initial save on Petrolia's Jesse Ferguson, but couldn't squeeze the puck, and it trickled behind him and just barely over the line to give the Squires a 1-0 lead at 6:13 of the first period.
Peicheff made several saves to keep the Hawks within one as the opening frame came to an end.
The Winterhawks got into high gear in the second period and started to tilt the ice toward the Petrolia zone, generating several chances but couldn't get one past Petrolia netminder Anthony Hurtubise.
The Squires extended their lead to 2-0 at 6:35 of the second when a Brent Sauve shot deflected in front of Peicheff and up into the top corner of the net.
The Winterhawks dug deep and again took control despite the deficit, as they finally broke through 11:22, when Miles MacLean fed a beautiful pass over to Lauchlin Elder, who put a low shot over the pad of Hurtubise to cut the Petrolia lead to 2-1.
Justin Donnelly scored to tie the game just over a minute later as he took a pass from Captain Trevor Smith and fired it past Hurtubise, with Brock Pinnell also assisting.
The Winterhawks continued to press, and it was the red-hot MacLean next, as he pounced on a Petrolia turnover just inside the blue line and hammered a slapshot past Hurtubise to give the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead.
Peicheff again had a strong period, making 17 saves in the middle frame as the Winterhawks took a one goal lead into the 3rd period.
The Winterhawks came out quick again in the 3rd, as James McHaig made it 4-2 just 53 seconds into the final frame, scoring from the slot, with assists to Michael Johnstone and the debuting Mike Fiegehen.
Petrolia pushed back, but Peicheff came up big again, making two big saves in a row as the Squires looked to get back in the game.
The Winterhawks delivered the dagger to the Squires hopes as Elder made it 5-2 with his second of the night, with assists to MacLean and Pinnell at 9:31.
Needing three goals, Petrolia pulled the goalie, but it was the Winterhawks finishing things off, as McHaig sent a pass over to Fiegehen for his first goal as a Winterhawk to finish the scoring, making it a 6-2 final.
Elder was named the Wismer House Player of the Game for his two goal performance, while Peicheff made 38 saves in an outstanding performance in the Winterhawks net to take the win.
The Winterhawks have now won five games in a row and remain in first place in the WOAA Sr. "AA" Hockey League standings with a 5-1-1 record.
They return to home ice next Friday night, November 12th, as they host the Minto 81's. Game time at The Plex is 8:30 p.m.
Boxscore via Gamesheet