The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks picked up a huge win Sunday afternoon at The Plex, holding off the reigning champions.
Jeff Flagler made 35 largely spectacular saves as the Winterhawks made a statement with a 4-2 victory over the visiting Clinton Radars.
It was a special afternoon family affair, with a number of Winterhawk kids on hand to skate with their dads, including Captain Trevor Smith, who was skating in his 200th regular season game as a Winterhawk, and 300th game overall, including playoffs.
The Winterhawks started off in good shape, opening the scoring less than five minutes in when Michael Johnstone knocked in a puck that fell in front of Clinton goalie Greg Dodds for the unassisted goal.
Clinton evened things up at 11:00 of the first, pouncing on a turnover for a goal by Conor Carson to make it a 1-1 game.
There were plenty of chances at both ends as the two talented teams went toe-to-toe, but the score remained 1-1 after one.
Clinton had some good fortune on their side early in the second, as a Winterhawks clearing attempt banked off an official and eventually ended up on the stick of Sean Consitt, who had a breakaway and tucked the puck around Flagler to make it a 2-1 Clinton lead.
The Winterhawks had chances throughout the second period, and eventually got the goal back on the power play.
Miles MacLean worked the puck over to Josh Deyell at the point, and he unleashed a big slap shot that was tipped in front by Lauchlin Elder, tying the game at 2-2 at 11:40.
Three minutes later, MacLean stepped in behind the Clinton defenders and received a pass from Jay Thomson, tucking the puck around Dodds to give the Winterhawks a 3-2 lead.
Penalty trouble again followed the Winterhawks, with Clinton picking up an extended five-on-three advantage, but they could not find a way to get the puck past Flagler.
The Radars poured it on in the third period, throwing attempt after attempt at the Winterhawks net, but Flagler stood his ground, making numerous highlight reel saves to keep the Winterhawks in front.
With the clock ticking down and Clinton still putting pressure on, the Radars pulled the goalie for an extra attacker, but it was James McHaig who put it away with an empty netter, with assists to MacLean and Thomson.
Flagler was named The Wismer House Player of the Game for his role in the win.
The win gives the Winterhawks a three-game winning streak and a 9-4-1 record on the season, good for third place in the WOAA Sr. Hockey League standings.
They will have next weekend off, but will have a Christmas break mid-week game on Wednesday December 22nd when the Shallow Lake Crushers visit The Plex at 7:30 p.m.