At the Milton Memorial arena in front of a select group of family and friends, mostly from Hamilton, the Red Wings broke a 4-4 tie after two periods to defeat Milton 10-6. Zach Hyman led the way with four goals.
Only a minute had expired in the first when defenceman Conor McLoughlin put the Wings on the board with a powerplay goal beating Brandon Gorecki from close in. Buddy Robinson buried the rebound of a Matt Carey shot to put the Wings up by two just before the nine minute mark and it was looking like a case of 'how many'. However Milton had other ideas and before the end of the period they had drawn level. Lester Brown one-timed a cross-ice pass past Jake Patterson and then with just over five minutes left in the period Justin Periera made some nifty moves to tie things up at two. His goal on the powerplay would be the last one scored by ths route in the contest.
The Hamilton captain then scored two, his 23rd. and 24th. before the game was four minutes old in the second. On the first he scooted through the IceHawk defense, scoring on a low shot and on the second he cut in from the left side and beat Gorecki with a wrist shot. The second would, however, mirror the first as Milton came back strongly to tie the contest at four. Brown got his second of the game on a breakaway down the left side and then Kyle Ceecchetto picked up a loose puck in front and backhanded it home. Matt Carey worked his way in all alone with three minutes remaining but was foiled by Gorecki. 4-4 after two.
The third belonged to the Wings as they clicked for six to the IceHawks' two. The period was just over a half a minute old when Hyman potted his hat trick goal putting the puck between the 'keepers pads after taking a nice pass from Carey. Christian Powers' blast from the faceoff dot put the visitors up by a pair and just sixteen seconds later John Celli scored his first of two in a row again putting the puck through the goalie's pads. Next the speedy winger cut over from the right side and flipped it in high. Seconds later Hyman got number four as he dipsy-doodled through an admiring Milton defense and all of a sudden a close, entertaining game saw the Wings with a five-goal edge. Something had been brewing between Powers and the IceHawks' Riley McGilloway and it erupted into a spirited fight at the nine minute mark..good timing. A couple of sloppy Hamilton plays behind their blueline allowed the IceHawks to get the next two both scored by Spencer Gourlay. Hamilton called a timeout at this point with the score 9-6 and the assistant coach gave the players a verbal lashing. The Wings got number ten in the last two minutes as Andrew Radjenovic and Luke Sinclair combined on a 2 on 1 with the rookie forward putting the finishing touches to the rush for his first goal.
In addition to his goal Carey had four assists. Radjenovic had three assists and Dominik Crnogorac, Tyler Gaudet and Buddy Robinson had two helpers each.
Some oddities in this one...the Wings were on the 'home' bench..the IceHawks had what looked like new uniforms with no names on the backs at all and in a lot of cases different numbers from the regular ones...the Wings' head coach took this one off...in a game with 16 goals only two came on the powerplay in sixteen chances.
The lines of Hyman-Robinson-Carey and Gibson-Powers- Radjenovic were dominant for the Wings in this fast-paced contest which took just two hours to play..perhaps the lure of the Grey Cup helped!
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