Nov 12, 2021 | Winterhawks News | 192 views
Slow Start Sinks Winterhawks
The Minto 81's scored three times in the first period as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks five game winning streak came to an abrupt halt on Friday night at The Plex.
The aggressive Minto team put the Winterhawks on their heels early and it resulted in an early lead for the visitors, as Zach Graham took advantage of a turnover at the far blueline to spring himself on a breakaway, beating Winterhawks goaltender Jeff Flagler up high to make it 1-0.
The sluggish start lasted well into the late stages of the first period, with Minto going up 2-0 after jumping on a turnover and having time and space to work the puck to Kalob Witzell, who beat Flagler at 13:45 of the 1st period.
Just over a minute later, Ryley Cribbin knocked down a failed clearing attempt and wired a shot past Flagler to make it 3-0 for the 81's, stunning the rather large home crowd.
The Winterhawks picked up the pace in the second period, but found themselves in penalty trouble and the end result was a 4-0 Minto lead.
With the 81's on a five-on-three advantage, Flagler made several saves to hold off the 81's, but a rebound found its way onto the stick of Adam Kawalec, who buried it past a helpless Flagler just after the first penalty had ended.
The Winterhawks had a couple power play chances of their own, but struggled to generate opportunities against an aggressive Minto penalty kill.
Miles MacLean delivered some hope for the home side early in the third period, getting the Winterhawks on the board after taking a feed from Lauchlin Elder just over a minute into the final frame to cut the Minto lead to 4-1.
Momentum was short lived as penalty trouble again reared its ugly head. Cribbin's second of the game came as he drove to the net and slid the puck under Flagler to make it a 5-1 Minto lead.
Josh Hopkin added a power play marker in the final minutes make the final a more respectable 5-2 score for Minto.
The loss drops the Winterhawks record to 5-2-1 on the season, but will have an opportunity to get back on the winning side of things as they travel to Seaforth tonight [Saturday] to battle the Seaforth Centenaires. Game time in Seaforth is 7:30 p.m.
Before the puck dropped, the Winterhawks and 81's welcomed the colour party from the Royal Canadian Legion Branch 340, Port Elgin. The guest of honour was Sgt. [ret] Greg Briggs, who served 22 years in the Canadian Forces.
Greg's service included nine years with the Princess Patricia Canadian Light Infantry, and 13 years with the Toronto Scottish Regiment, including an operational tour in Bosnia-Herzegovina with the NATO implementation force.