The Ripley Wolves scored with less than 80 seconds remaining to take a 3-2 decision over the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks on Friday night.
Before the puck dropped, the Winterhawks invited superfan Vi Cottrill to drop the puck for the ceremonial face-off, a day after celebrating her 84th birthday.
The two talented teams went toe-to-toe early on, exchanging chances in front of a near-capacity crowd at The Plex.
Bryan Kazarian opened the scoring on the doorstep, banging the puck past Ripley netminder Jason Hamilton, with assists to Andy Mitchell and Matt Shields at 8:23 of the 1st.
Jeff Flagler got the start in the Winterhawks net and he was spectacular early on, holding off a Ripley power play late in the 1st, keeping the score 1-0 after one.
Flagler again held Ripley at bay for much of the 2nd period, as the Wolves controlled the play for stretches during the middle frame.
Ripley tied things up at 14:52 on the power play, with Garrett Meurs stepping in and snapping a laser beam over the shoulder of Flagler to make it 1-1.
Flagler came up huge again for the Winterhawks as Ripley generated chances early in the 3rd.
The Wolves went ahead at 7:41 of the 3rd, as Flagler made a save on a breakaway opportunity, but Cody Britton followed up the play and buried the rebound.
The Winterhawks answered right back, as Miles MacLean snuck a shot through Hamilton just 51-seconds later to knot the game at 2-2, with assists to Lauchlin Elder and Connor Patton.
Overtime loomed, but Ripley had other ideas, as former Winterhawk Adam Alexander tipped a centering pass past Flagler with 1:17 remaining to give Ripley a 3-2 lead.
WIth Flagler on the bench for the extra attacker, a rodeo broke out in the Ripley zone, as the Wolves were whistled for two penalties on the same play, giving the Winterhawks a six-on-three advantage for the final 29-seconds.
Hamilton came up big for Ripley, stopping point blank chances to preserve the win for the visitors.
Flagler made 27 saves and was named The Wismer House Player of the Game for a strong effort in goal.
The Winterhawks will be back in action next Friday night, December 27th, when they travel to Shallow Lake to face the Crushers.
They return home the following night, December 28th, for a 7:00 p.m. start against the Elora Rocks at The Plex, as they pay homage to the Port Elgin Bears with throwback Bears jerseys.