PassIt was not the start the Saugeen Shores Winterhawks were looking for as they kicked off the 2015/16 WOAA Sr. "AA" Hockey League season.

The Winterhawks showed some rust as they fell 3-2 to the Shallow Lake Crushers in a close battle.

As has become tradition, the Winterhawks were played onto the ice by McLaren's Pipe and Drum Band of Wiarton.

Once the action got underway, the two rivals quickly got down to business, with the goals coming early.

Shallow Lake's Ian Barnard opened the scoring just 5:17 into the game, banging in a rebound on the powerplay after a point shot from Matt Smyth was stopped by Josh Sturrock, who was making his Winterhawks debut in goal.

Barnard wasn't done there, as he would extend the Shallow Lake lead to 2-0 when he broke in was able to hold off defenceman Brett Brophy long enough to put a backhander past Sturrock.

The Winterhawks would get one back less than a minute later when Alex Penner lead a rush up the ice with linemates Brent MacDermid and Trent Hawke. Penner dropped the puck in the slot for Hawke, who put the puck at the net and it found its way to MacDermid, who beat Crushers netminder Justin Hammond.

Both Sturrock and Hammond were solid the rest of the way, putting up zeroes on the board until just past the midway point of the third period when the Crushers found themselves back on the powerplay.

With Shallow Lake cycling the puck on the man advantage, Corey Schnurr found Chad Jones at the point and the Crushers defenceman wired one over the shoulder of Sturrock to make it a 3-1 lead.

The Winterhawks would get one back just shy of two minutes later when captain Greg Thede put a point shot through a crowd, which was deflected past Hammond by Penner for his first goal in a Winterhawks uniform to make it 3-2.

Hammond shut the door the rest of the way as Shallow Lake held on for the 3-2 win.

Penner picked up the Wismer House Player of the Game nod with a goal and an assist.

The Winterhawks (0-1-0) will be back in action with two home games next weekend, opening on Friday (Oct. 16) with the Elora Rocks at 8:30 p.m., then the following night (Oct. 17) with the Durham Thundercats at 8:00 p.m.

with files from winterhawks.net1st goalScorerPennerPressure