Winterhawks Force Game 7

There’s absolutely no quit in the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks.The Winterhawks staved off elimination with a total team effort, taking a 6-2 victory over the Creemore Coyotes in front of a crowd of 1,000 at The Plex on Friday night.The win was dedicated to long-time Winterhawks and Saugeen Shores superfan Vi Cottrill, who is currently in hospital and sorely missed at the rink.The team came out flying in Game 6, taking charge off the opening shift, scoring 38 seconds into the game when the Coyotes dumped the puck into the Winterhawks zone, which ringed around the boards onto the stick of Dan Zweep in the neutral zone.Zweep carried the puck into the Creemore zone and put a backhand shot behind Creemore goalie Mason Kameka to put the Winterhawks up 1-0 early on. Assists went to Trevor Smith and Luke Pither.Creemore picked up a pair of power plays in short order and made it a 1-1 game on a 5-on-3 advantage, but the Winterhawks ended up on their first power play of the game soon after the game was tied.Off an offensive zone faceoff, Miles MacLean fired a pass across to Pither at the far faceoff dot, who put a quick shot at the net, which was deflected in front by Justin Donnelly to make it a 2-1 Winterhawks lead at 8:41.Creemore picked up another power play and evened the score again at 2-2, which is where things stood after 20 minutes.The second period was mostly even as neither team tried to give up the go-ahead goal, but the Winterhawks broke through as the period wore on.Logan Freiburger put the Winterhawks up 3-2 at 11:10 when Andy Fracz put the puck back to Freiburger at the right point, and his shot deflected off a Creemore defender to put the Winterhawks ahead.The Winterhawks killed off three penalties from there and then took a 4-2 lead in the dying seconds of the second period when Pither got a stick on a Creemore clearing attempt, which was knocked down by Smith, his shot stopped by Kameka, but Andy Fracz was right there to bury the rebound with two-seconds left in the period.

A cheap shot by a Creemore player after the goal touched off a tremendous fight as Josh Deyell went toe-to-toe with Creemore’s Austin Fischer, with the two exchanging haymakers.

The Winterhawks put the game out of reach early in the third, with Andy Mitchell converting off a quick rush just eight seconds into the third period from Freiburger and Smith to make it 5-2, then Hawke fired a quick shot just over a minute later to make it 6-2.Donnelly and Chad Jones assisted on Hawke’s goal, which put an exclamation mark on a bounce-back effort from the Winterhawks.Creemore picked up two more power plays, but the Winterhawks gave them nothing, making it a 6-2 final, sending the series to a decisive 7th game.Clayton Fritsch was excellent in the Winterhawks net, making 34 saves for the win.

Freiburger was named The Wismer House Player of the Game with the game-winning goal and an assist.Game 7 goes tonight [Saturday] in Creemore, game time is 7:30 p.m.