Miles MacLean had a hat-trick as the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks cruised to a 5-0 win over the Shallow Lake Crushers on Friday night.
The Winterhawks opened the scoring early at 1:38 of the 1st period, when Michael Johnstone slid a pass across to Blake Underwood on an odd-man rush, and he made no mistake, beating Crushers netminder Kyle Sephton.
Matt Shields also picked up an assist on the goal, his first point as a Winterhawk.
Matt Tutin started for the Winterhawks and while he wasn’t busy early on, he made several key saves to keep his team up 1-0.
The Winterhawks would dominate for most of the opening frame, picking up a power play when Crushers Connor Annett was whistled for slashing at 16:41.
A minute into the man advantage, MacLean would net his first of the night, converting on a goal-mouth scramble, with assists to Josh Deyell and James McHaig.
In the final minute of the 1st period, the Winterhawks would go up 3-0 on a scary play as former Winterhawk-turned-Crusher Shelby Simmons was cut near the eye on a collision in the Crushers zone.
As Simmons was down, the play continued and MacLean was able to beat Sephton, with assists to Johnstone and Underwood.
Simmons had to be helped off the ice, but returned for the 2nd period.
The officials were front and centre in the 2nd period, as the middle frame saw no scoring, but eight penalties called between the two sides.
Tutin held down the fort until he was replaced by newcomer Eric Peicheff at the halfway point of the period, as the team looked to get both goaltenders some playing time early in the season.
Peicheff was thrown to the wolves as he entered the fray, forced to fend off an extended Shallow Lake five-on-three, as the Winterhawks were whistled for three minor penalties in less than two minutes.
Peicheff was solid as he turned aside several Crushers chances, keeping the score at 3-0.
The Crushers would pick up another power play as Deyell was ejected, called for a charging major after a bone-jarring hit on Shallow Lake’s Chris Weaver, who was down for several minutes and had to be helped off the ice.
The Hawks would kill off the penalty and an additional penalty to captain Trevor Smith, pushing the Hawks to continue on the penalty kill into the 3rd period.
The Crushers would get into penalty trouble late in the 3rd, allowing the Winterhawks to put the game away.
McHaig would make it 4-0 at 11:05, just as a power play was ending, scoring off the rush as he knocked in his own rebound, with Kody O’Connor picking up the assist, his first point as a Winterhawk.
MacLean would finish off the hat-trick 90-seconds later, getting free in the slot and firing the puck past Sephton as he was being knocked over.
Peicheff would hold off the Crushers to make it a 5-0 final, as he and Tutin combined for the shutout.
The Winterhawks [1-1-0] will be back in action next weekend for a home-and-home set against the Huron East Centenaires [1-0-1], starting on Friday night, October 19th, at The Plex for an 8:30 p.m. start.