Winterhawks crush the Crushers

Blake Underwood made it a birthday to remember as he helped the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks hand a 7-1 defeat to the Shallow Lake Crushers on Friday night at The Plex.

Goalie Eric Peicheff makes the glove save

Shallow Lake generated some chances early, but Winterhawks netminder Eric Peicheff turned aside  everything the Crushers could throw at him.

The game was held scoreless until late in the 1st period, when Matt Shields took a long stretch pass from Nick Quaid for a breakaway, flipping the puck over the shoulder of Crushers netminder Kyle Sephton.

That was all the offence for the 1st period, as the Winterhawks took a 1-0 lead to the dressing room.

Celebrating his 31st birthday, Underwood made it 2-0 at 5:34 of the 2nd, as the Shallow Lake defender misplayed the puck behind his net, and Underwood was able to get just enough of the puck to get it over the goal line as it squirted out front.

Underwood was right back at it less than three minutes later, as an Adam Little point shot was stopped by Sephton, but Underwood was able to fire the rebound into the net as he was knocked to the ice by the Shallow Lake defender.

Shallow Lake got one back late in the period, spoiling an otherwise stellar night for Peicheff, making it 3-1 after two periods.

The Winterhawks put it away with emphasis in the 3rd period, starting with Miles MacLean who blasted a slap shot past Sephton at 4:59, with assists to Underwood and Lauchlin Elder.

Andy Fracz notched a power play goal at 9:29, taking a nice feed from Elder, beating Sephton with a wrist shot, with Josh Deyell also assisting to make it a 5-1 game.

Sephton departed with an apparent injury shortly thereafter, replaced by Southampton native Mike Mercer, who made his WOAA debut.

Trent Hawke greeted Mercer rudely, sending a shot on the Crushers net, and while Mercer made the initial save, Hawke banged in the rebound to make it 6-1.

Hawke would add another with a minute to play, taking a feed from Bryan Kazarian and beating Mercer to arrive at the 7-1 final score, with Elder picking up his third assist of the game.

                                                           Peicheff made 21 saves for the win.

For larger view, click on images

The win improves the Winterhawks record to 11-5-1, propelling them into a tie for 3rd place with the Durham Thundercats, though the Winterhawks currently hold the tiebreaker.

A road trip awaits the Winterhawks, as they will make their first-ever trip to Milverton tonight [Saturday] to face the Four Wheel Drives at 8:30 p.m.