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James McHaig had a three point night as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks bounced back in a big way against the Durham Thundercats.
The Winterhawks dominated the Thundercats in their own barn as they thumped Durham 6-1 to solidify their hold on 1st place in the WOAA Sr. Hockey League.
Saugeen Shores came out determined to correct their 3rd period collapse the night before, taking a 1-0 lead 52-seconds into the game when Andy Mitchell converted from Brendon Haefling and McHaig.
Gatlin Burt held off a relentless Winterhawks attack, stopped 14 shots in the 1st period until Trent Hawke put the Winterhawks up 2-0 on the powerplay with 44 seconds left in the period, with assists to Nick Quaid and Curtis Johnston.
McHaig would make it 3-0 early in the 2nd period, followed by Johnston making it 4-0 as the the Winterhawks took it to the Thundercats.
Burt would depart halfway through the game due to injury, with Scott Kuglin taking over in the Durham net.
Ben Davis got Durham on the board at 16:14 of the 2nd, but the Thundercats could muster little else, outshot by the Winterhawks 16-7 in the 2nd period.
Bound not to repeat their errors of the night before, Blake Underwood struck shorthanded at 9:59 of the 3rd period, while Mitchell put it away in the final minute, converting a goal from Haefling and McHaig to make it a 6-1 final for the Winterhawks, who outshot Durham 46-21.
Blake Sinclair wasn't overly tested, making 20 saves to improve his season record to 8-1-0.
The Winterhawks now sit at 16-1-1 on the season, with a seven-point cushion on 2nd place Mapleton-Minto, who have three games in hand on the Winterhawks.
With two games left in the regular season, the Winterhawks can finish no worse than 2nd overall, guaranteeing home ice advantage for at least the first two rounds of the playoffs.
The Winterhawks will return home on Friday night, January 20th, for a home date against Bruce County rivals and potential 1st round playoff opponent, the Ripley Wolves. Game time at The Plex is 8:30 p.m.
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Sunday, January 15, 2017