Dec 30, 2023 | Winterhawks News | 172 views
Nail Biter Goes to Creemore
The two goalies were front and centre as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks and Creemore Coyotes went head-to-head Friday night at The Plex.
Creemore broke a scoreless tie in the third period after more than two periods of an intense goaltending battle, eventually taking a 3-0 decision.
A Christmas flu bug going through the team caused several last-minute scratches to the lineup, as well as some players playing under the weather, nonetheless, the Winterhawks came out hard and pressured Coyotes goalie Mason Kameka.
Likewise, the Coyotes generated several good chances against Winterhawks goalie Jeff Flagler, but he came up with big saves early on.
A huge crowd came out to The Plex as part of Minor Hockey Night, where Saugeen Shores Storm teams attempted to out-cheer each other for the opportunity to have Winterhawks players at a future team practice.
The extra cheering sections tried to will the Winterhawks ahead, but Kameka kept the door closed, as the Winterhawks outshot Creemore 17-11 in the first period, but the score remained 0-0.
The play opened up more in the second period, with the teams exchanging rushes and multiple chances, but again, it was Flagler and Kameka refusing to give an inch.
There was not even a power play to be had until early in the third period when Creemore was whistled for unsportsmanlike conduct when a puck was fired at Flagler after the whistle.
The Winterhawks couldn't convert and were called for a penalty of their own when Alec Tiley tied up a Creemore player who had a shorthanded rush up the ice.
The Coyotes finally broke the deadlock at 6:23 when a bouncing puck in the crease just barely trickled over the goal line to make it 1-0 for the visitors.
Flagler held his team in it as they tried for the equalizer, but Kameka was having none of it and Creemore delivered the dagger at 13:53.
Flagler stopped an initial rush chance for the Coyotes, but the rebound came out to Creemore's Ben Hughes, who had an open net to deposit the puck.
An empty netter made it a 3-0 final for Creemore. All told the two goalies combined to make 85 saves as the Winterhawks outshot Creemore 46-41.
The Saugeen Shores Storm U11 D squad were named the Minor Hockey Night winners, and will have Winterhawks players taking part in an upcoming practice.
Prior to the game, the Winterhawks recognized the 1968-1970 Port Elgin Legion Juvenile "C" squad, that won three-straight WOAA championships and back-to-back provincial titles in '69 & '70.
Surviving members of the team were presented with a banner commemorating their accomplishments, which will hang at The Plex permanently.
The Winterhawks will be back in action next Friday night, January 5th, when they host First Responders Night against the Durham Thundercats.
All first responders will be admitted for free thanks to game sponsor, Vanderwerf's Your Independent Grocer.
Game time at The Plex is 8:30 p.m.