The Tavistock Royals scored three unanswered goals in the second period to pull away from the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks in Game 5 of their WOAA Sr. AA quarterfinal series.
The Winterhawks struggled to hit their stride, dropping a 5-2 decision on home ice and are now on the brink of elimination.
The game started off as the rest have in this physical series, with both teams taking their runs at each other. The Royals were called for goaltender interference early when Winterhawks starter Jeff Flagler was hit hard in the crease.
Flagler was clearly shaken up on the play, but stayed in the game.
The Winterhawks jumped out to a 1-0 early lead, with Miles MacLean and Hunter Dubecki forcing a turnover at the Tavistock blueline, springing Justin Donnelly, who beat Tavistock netminder Jensen van Boekel.
Once again, a lead was short lived in this series, as Tavistock answered right back 40 seconds later to tie the game up at 1-1.
A parade to the penalty box followed throughout the rest of the first period as the pleasantries continued, but neither team could break the tie.
Tavistock jumped out early in the second period, scoring at 3:37 to make it 2-1.
The Royals lead was extended to 3-1 just over three minutes later when a strange bounce ended up right on the stick of Trevor Sauder.
The Winterhawks killed off a double-minor after the goal, but Tavistock made it 4-1 off the rush at 14:54, ending Flagler's night, who was replaced by Eric Peicheff in the Winterhawks net.
A glimmer of hope came in the third period, as James McHaig scored at the side of the night off the draw at 5:54 of the third period, with Jay Thomson and Josh Hopkin picking up assists to cut the Tavistock lead to 4-2.
However, a comeback was not to be, as Tavistock's Collin Hartwick pounced on a turnover at 14:14, making it a 5-2 game and putting the score out of reach.
Donnelly was named the Wismer House Player of the Game.
The series now shifts to Tavistock for a must-win Game 6 to keep the season alive. Puck drop is at 7:30 p.m.
Boxscore via Gamesheet Inc.