The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks clawed back three separate times, but couldn't get one last goal to keep their hopes alive.
A power play goal late in the first overtime period sunk their season as the Tavistock Royals took a 4-3 victory in Game 6 of their WOAA Sr. AA quarterfinal series on Sunday afternoon in Tavistock.
In what may have been a omen of things to come, members of the Winterhawks hockey staff were involved in a minor accident en route to the game on Sunday morning.
Most importantly, there were no injuries to report, but the Winterhawks jerseys and essentials like water bottles didn't make it to Tavistock.
As a result, the Winterhawks borrowed grey practice jerseys from the Royals and took to the ice in a rather unusual look.
Once the game got underway, the "GreyHawks" threw everything they had at the Royals.
Tavistock opened the scoring just past the seven-minute mark of the first period, but Jamie Shoemaker answered right back a minute later to knot the game at 1-1.
Tavistock returned the volley and made it 2-1 game just over a minute after Shoemaker's equalizer.
The Royals held the lead through one period, despite the Winterhawks throwing 18 shots on goal in the opening frame.
Matt Shields was able to get the Winterhawks even up again early in the second period on a goal assisted by James McHaig.
That turned out to be the only scoring of the middle frame, as again the Winterhawks outshot their opponents, but couldn't generate any further goals.
A late penalty in the second period was compounded early in the third as Tavistock picked up a five-on-three advantage and immediately cashed in, making it a 3-2 game.
With their season on the line, the Winterhawks battled and threw everything they had at the Tavistock net, finally breaking through with less than seven minutes to play in a tying goal by Andy Mitchell, assisted by Justin Donnelly & Josh Hopkin.
The Winterhawks put another 19 shots on goal in the third period, but couldn't score, so the game headed to overtime.
In the extra frame, the whistles went away despite a fairly busy afternoon in the penalty box. That is, until late in the first overtime period when Tavistock picked up a power play and scored almost immediately, ending the Winterhawks season.
Eric Peicheff took the loss in goal, but was full marks, making 47 saves in an outstanding effort. All told, the Winterhawks put 59 shots on the Tavistock net, but came up short.
The Winterhawks executive wish to thank the fans and sponsors for their support as we returned to the ice after a year-and-a-half on the sidelines. With a good young core to build off of, the future is bright, and we are already looking forward to the 2022-23 season.
Boxscore via Gamesheet