The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks started their best of seven series against the Lucknow Lancers on Friday night in front of a full house at the Plex.
After having a week off to wait for the winner of the Lucknow – Palmerston series, the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks were ready to play.
The first period did not start off the right way for the Hawks, as they were caught several times waiting for pucks, and making poor clearing passes. These all led to good scoring chances for the Lancers, but goalie Jeremy Beaty did not flinch. Down at the other end, Joey Vercillo was also equal to the task. The Hawks outshot the Lancers 17 – 11 in the first period.
The second period started out much the same for the Hawks. They would dominate down low, but a low percentage pass would get them in trouble. This happened at the fourteen minute mark, when Lancer Mark Stanley was able to chip a clearing pass out of his zone, race down the ice and squeak a shot through the five hole to open the scoring.
Less than a minute later, Lucknow went up 2-0, when the Lancers took a bad angle shot, and it somehow managed to hit the inside of goalie Jeremy Beatty’s outside leg, and go in.
This did not deter the Hawks. With five minutes to go in the second, and on a power play, Bryan Kazarian notched his first of the series, when he picked up a high rebound, and roofed the puck over a sprawling Vercillo. Brent MacDermid and Ryan Dudgeon earned the assists. Thirty seconds later, Ryan Fry evened the score when he buried a nice pass from Nick Quaid.
The score after two periods was tied at two.
The third period opened up a little, and the Hawks were able to rotate their four lines to their advantage. Bryan Kazarian scored his second of the night at the twelve minute mark, when he ripped a slap shot from the high slot, and beat Vercillo. Dudgeon and Derek Skinner earned the assists.
Then with time running out, and Lucknow pressing, Jason Hutchinson ripped his own slap shot into the top corner to seal the victory.
Curtis Johnson and Nick Quaid earned the assists.
The Hawks now take a 1-0 lead in the best of seven
Game two is Saturday night in Lucknow at 8:00 p.m.
The Hawks next home game is next Friday at the Plex. Game time is 8:30 PM.