Mike Fiegehen scored the lone goal for the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks, who dropped their home opener 3-1 to the Seaforth Centenaires.
The Winterhawks were able to control the play early on against the defending champions, but quality chances were hard to come by against the talented Seaforth squad.
Eric Peicheff was pressed into duty in the Winterhawks net after expected starter Jeff Flagler was a late scratch due to illness, and was impressive as he held off the Seaforth attack early on.
Seaforth jumped out to a 1-0 lead when an ill-timed turnover came out in front of the Winterhawks net. Peicheff made the first save, but was helpless as Kurtis Bartliff put his own rebound into the net.
The Winterhawks looked stronger in the second period and created chances, including captain Trevor Smith with a good rush at the Seaforth net, but couldn't solve Seaforth netminder Tyler Parr.
Peicheff came up big again midway through the second period with a huge glove save as the Centenaires looked to extend their lead.
The game got away from the Winterhawks late in the period as the Centenaires scored off a bad bounce to make it 2-0, and followed it up on the power play less than two minutes later to make it 3-0 after two periods of play.
To the Winterhawks credit, they didn't back down despite a tough deficit, battling to make it a 3-1 game when Mike Fiegehen banked a shot in off a Seaforth defender at 5:35 of the 3rd period. Nick Quaid and Lauchlin Elder picked up assists on the goal.
The Winterhawks had three power play opportunities in the third period, but couldn't cash in and the score held for a 3-1 final for Seaforth.
The Winterhawks will get a chance to bounce back on home ice as they host the Durham Thundercats for the first time in three years next Friday night at 8:30 p.m. at The Plex.