Winterhawks draw Tillsonburg to open playoffs

The Saugeen Shores Winterhawks will go long-distance in the opening round of the WOAA Sr. “AA” playoffs.

The 3rd-ranked Winterhawks will meet the 6th-seeded Tillsonburg Thunder in a best-of-seven quarterfinal series, the first time the two teams have met since Tillsonburg entered the loop 12 years ago.

The Winterhawks found themselves in the 3rd seed after a 3-1 loss Friday night in Shelburne.

The Shelburne Muskies scored three unanswered goals to take the victory over the Winterhawks.

Andy Mitchell opened the scoring in the 1st period, from Miles MacLean and Matt Shields.

Shelburne responded late in the 2nd to tie the game at 1-1, and an early power play in the 3rd period bore fruit as the Muskies pulled ahead 2-1.

Minutes later, the Muskies added an insurance marker to go ahead 3-1.

With the standings set, the Winterhawks played a meaningless regular season finale in Ripley on Saturday.

Ripley barged out to a 5-0 lead before the Winterhawks, who dressed a less-than-full lineup, began chipping away.

Lauchlin Elder scored twice, along with Miles MacLean and Trent Hawke to cut the lead to as little as 5-4 with 14 minutes remaining in the game.

Ripley put the insurance marker away with a couple minutes left to make it a 6-4 final for the Wolves.

Blake Underwood put two assists on the board to give himself 24 points on the season, capturing the team’s regular season top scorer award.

The Winterhawks and Tillsonburg Thunder will begin their best-of-seven quarterfinal series this weekend, with a schedule to be released early in the week.

Playoff tickets will be $10/each [kids 8 and under free with paying adult] and will be available at the door.