The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks went back in time and returned with a win as they took to the ice as the Port Elgin Bears on Saturday night at The Plex.
The Winterhawks wore gold & black Bears jerseys, honouring the 40th anniversary of the Bears team that captured the 1979-80 Central Jr. C championship.
Prior to the puck drop, 18 members of the Bears championship team were recognized in a pre-game ceremony, including Captain Steve Caloren, who took part in the ceremonial face off.
From the ceremonial puck-drop to the National Anthem played by a brass band, it was a special anniversary celebration of the Bears.
Once the puck dropped for real, the Winterhawks took it to an under-manned Elora Rocks squad, who dressed only nine skaters for the game.
However, it was Elora getting on the board first, scoring off the rush three minutes into the game.
The Winterhawks got in back on the power play at 11:52 of the 1st, as Nick Quaid got the puck down low to Blake Underwood, who found Michael Johnstone and he made no mistake, firing the puck top shelf on Elora netminder Colin Dunne.
Despite the Winterhawks absolutely dominating the first period with a shots advantage of 25-2, the score remained tied after one period.
The floodgates broke open in the 2nd period, as Underwood broke in and fired a hard shot through the legs of Dunne at 1:48 to give the Winterhawks a 2-1 lead.
Miles MacLean made it 3-1 at 5:05, picking the puck up at the side of the net and jamming it past Dunne, with assists to Connor Patton and Lauchlin Elder.
MacLean’s 2nd of the night followed at 8:49, assisted once again by Patton & Elder to make it a 4-1 game.
Johnstone and Andy Mitchell teamed up on a shorthanded rush to make it a 5-1 game, with Johnstone making a backhand pass out front to Mitchell, who beat a helpless Dunne.
Perhaps getting a little too comfortable with their lead, Elora got one back 55-seconds into the 3rd period.
Trent Hawke restored the four-goal lead off the rush at 12:03, with assists to Underwood and Jamie Shoemaker.
The Rocks did not go down without one last fight, scoring twice in the final five minutes to get the score as close as 6-4, but a Patton empty netter put it away and made it a 7-4 final for the “Bears”, who improved to 13-3-0 on the season.
Johnstone was named The Wismer House Player of the Game with a goal and an assist.
The win moves the Winterhawks into a four-way tie for first place, sharing top spot with Ripley, Shelburne and Clinton as the regular season moves into the home stretch.
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Following the final buzzer, the jerseys were auctioned off by Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound M.P.P. Bill Walker, with a portion of the proceeds benefitting the Saugeen Shores Police K.I.D.S. program.
The Winterhawks are always keen when it comes to tiny tots and junior players and took the time between game periods on Saturday to get them out on the ice.
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The Winterhawks will be back in their usual jerseys this Friday night, January 3rd, as they host the Milverton 4-Wheel Drives at The Plex at 8:30 p.m.
HAWKS’ Friday night WIN IN SHALLOW LAKE:
James McHaig had two goals and an assist as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks doubled up the Shallow Lake Crushers on Friday night.
Shallow Lake opened the scoring at 6:29 of the 1st, with Daniel Zweep beating Winterhawks goaltender Matt Tutin, who was making his first start of the season.
Miles MacLean answered back late in the period, scoring at 18:57, with assists to Nick Quaid & Connor Patton to knot the score at 1-1 after one period.
The Winterhawks picked up a power play early in the 2nd period and Michael Johnstone beat Crushers netminder Matthew Treadwell to make it a 2-1 Winterhawks lead, with assists to McHaig & Matt Shields.
Lauchlin Elder extended the lead to 3-1 just over two minutes later with an unassisted goal.
Shallow Lake got one back on the power play at 11:41 to cut the Winterhawks lead to 3-2.
McHaig answered back before the period ended, netting his first of the night at 15:33, from Johnstone and Blake Underwood, giving the Winterhawks a 4-2 lead after two.
The Crushers made it known they weren’t going away, once again getting to within one with a goal by Drew Quinlan at 5:11 of the 3rd period.
Tutin put the wall up in the Winterhawks net from there, allowing Jay Thomson to put an insurance marker on the board at 13:14, with assists to Jamie Shoemaker and Adam Kading.
McHaig put it away with an unassisted empty netter at 18:33 to make it a 6-3 final for the Winterhawks, with Tutin picking up the win in goal.