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puck drop 560Owner of Southampton’s Outlaw Brew Co., Deborah Leon dropped the ceremonial puck to kick-off the Winterhawks 10th season October 14 at The Plex. Hub photo

It's not the start to the season the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks had imagined.

The Winterhawks opened their 10th season in the WOAA Sr. Hockey League on Friday night but wound up on the wrong end of a 5-2 score with the Petrolia Squires.

As has become tradition, the Winterhawks were piped onto the ice by McLaren's Pipe and Drum band of Wiarton while game sponsor Outlaw Brew Co.’s Deb Leon dropped the ceremonial puck, but the good feelings were short lived.

Petrolia opened the scoring on the powerplay at 3:51 when Kyler Keating's point shot hit a Winterhawks defender in front and deflected past Blake Sinclair to make it 1-0 Squires.

The Winterhawks struggled to shake off seven months worth of rust as they were a step behind the Squires early on, often failing to connect passes.

The Squires, who opened their season last week, found the back of the net again at 12:53 when Thomas Moxely got in alone and beat Sinclair to make it 2-0.

Moxely would strike again in the dying seconds of the period, beating Sinclair through the five-hole to make it 3-0 for Petrolia after the first period.

The Winterhawks found their legs in the second period and began to claw their way back in the game.

Nick Quaid got the Winterhawks on the board at 8:49 of the second, blasting a point shot through traffic to beat Petrolia netminder Brandon Campbell. Alex Kuntz picked up an assist on the play, his first senior hockey point, along with Bryan Kazarian.

Sinclair came up big for the Winterhawks in the second, stopping a couple breakaway chances for the Squires.

Andy Fracz picked up his first goal of the season at 16:33, drawing the Winterhawks to within one with Trevor Smith adding an assist.

The Winterhawks tried to get the equalizer in the third, including a full two-minute five-on-three advantage but couldn't find the net as the tank ran empty in the final frame.

Petrolia's Norm Leger put the insurance marker on the board when he fought off a check in front of Sinclair and banged home a pass at 11:58.

Following some fisticuffs in the final minute, Leger would add an empty netter with 11 seconds left to make it a 5-2 final for Petrolia.

Quaid’s efforts earned him The Wismer House Player of the Game.

Head Coach Jim Grieve said after the game it was the Winterhawks' rusty legs that got the better of them.

"We carried the play in the second period, I thought," said Grieve. "In the third, we just ran out of gas."

Still, with several newcomers in the lineup, Grieve was encouraged by what he saw from the rookies.

"Some of the guys that are new to the team, Alex Kuntz and some of the others played up to expectations, so we're expecting a lot out of them," said Grieve.

The Winterhawks [0-1-0] will attempt to get back on the winning side of things next Friday night, October 21, when the new-look Elora Rocks [1-1-0] come to town after a year on the sidelines.

Game time at The Plex is 8:30 p.m.

Barry 560Barry Follett followed the Wiarton’s McLaren’s Pipe and Drum band, in a rendition of O’ Canada before the Winterhawks took on the Petrolia Squires October 14 at The Plex. Hub photo

Keating 560Kyle Keating of Petrolia wasn't allowing Winterhawk forward Jay Thompson to get his way. Hub photo

open 560Winterhawk forward Blake Underwood looked for an open man during the season opener at The Plex October 14 against the Petrolia Squires. Hub photo

Campbell 560Petrolia goalie Brandon Campbell saved another shot. Hub photo

Haefling 560Brendon Haefling, Winterhawks returning defenseman, in action at The Plex October 14 when the Winterhawks took on the Petrolia Squires for their season opener. Hub photo

with files from winterhawks.net

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