Jeff Flagler was perfect as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks lived to fight another day.
Flagler made 32 saves for the shutout as the Winterhawks took a 4-0 victory in Game 5 of their WOAA Sr. “AA” quarterfinal series, staving off elimination.
The two teams were coming off a penalty-free affair in Game 4, but Game 5 was anything but.
The officials whistled nine minor penalties in the opening frame as both sides exchanged pleasantries, but neither team could find the twine and the score remained 0-0 after one.
The Winterhawks killed off an early penalty in the 2nd period and were able to grab some momentum coming out of the penalty kill.
A cycle down low between Jay Thomson and James McHaig generated an opportunity for Michael Johnstone, who was left alone in the slot.
Johnstone fired a quick wrist shot over the shoulder of Tillsonburg netminder Tommy Lee to give the Winterhawks a 1-0 lead at 6:20 of the 2nd.
Tillsonburg had a power play opportunity as Bryan Kazarian was ejected on a cross-checking major, but a Tillsonburg penalty nullified the advantage shortly afterwards.
The Winterhawks held the 1-0 advantage entering the 3rd period, where they pounced quickly.
Tillsonburg’s Brett Parsons was boxed on a kneeing penalty, which was immediately followed by a delay of game penalty when Lee fired the puck over the glass on a clearing attempt.
Despite an extended 5-on-3 advantage, the Winterhawks wasted no time, scoring 20-seconds into the two-man advantage, as Blake Underwood found Mike Rocca in the slot for a one-timer goal, with Theo Peckham also picking up the assist.
Andy Mitchell expanded the lead to 3-0 just over three minutes later blasting a feed from Connor Patton past Lee, with Lauchlin Elder also assisting.
Trent Hawke put it away late on a power play goal from Greg Thede to make it a 4-0 Winterhawks lead.
Flagler made several spectacular saves to preserve the shutout, picking up the Wismer House Player of the Game honours.
The win forces Game 6 in Tillsonburg tonight [Saturday] at 7:30 p.m., with the Winterhawks looking to force a Sunday afternoon Game 7 at The Plex.