Muskies derail 81's then down 'Hawks
Heading into Palmerston on Saturday night, the Fish were looking to extend their record to 3-0 with a win over the 81's before heading off to meet the Winterhawks the next afternoon.
Wasting no time, Derek Smith pulled a loose puck from a scramble at the side of Palmerston's goal and laced it between the post and 81's starting goalie Scott Walls to open the scoring less than two minutes into the game.
Palmerston wasn't long in getting that one back, however, catching the Fish out of position on a bad line change.
It allowed Kevin Beimes to race in down the left side, take a pass from Scott Cook and snap one to the wide side that Shelburne cager Rob Senay stood no chance in stopping.
Keeping on the pressure, the Muskies again found the range, this time with Luke Downey doing the honours. He made a pass from the side of the net which ended up deflecting off the goalie and into the net at the fourminute mark.
Second effort on the part of Sean Connor broke up a Palmerston clearing attempt to keep the puck in the 81's zone 62 seconds later with Connor dumping the puck onto the stick of Sean Thompson who back handed one up and over Walls to make it 3- 1 for Shelburne.
Muskies netminders Senay and Mike Tardiff currently lead the league in both goals against and save percentages and Senay proved why he is up there by robbing a Palmerston shooter on a shorthanded breakaway late in the period.
Skating even through the balance of two, Kevin Tuckey teamed up with Smith to set up Zac Duerden for his first goal of the game before Duerden set up Warren Sly, who cranked a laser trough traffic from the blueline to make it 5-1 to end the second period.
Despite giving up two more goals to the 81's in the third, Shelburne continued to press Palmerston at every opportunity and were rewarded with four more goals for their efforts.
Chris Greer lead the third period assault for Shelburne with a pair back to back at 17:57 and 12:31.
Matt Lougheed would add his second of the season, a powerplay marker at 10:21, before Zac Dueren wrapped up the scoring with his second of the night to seal off the scoresheet at 9-3 in favour of Shelburne.
Sunday, it was on the bus west to Port Elgin for the long awaited rematch of last years Northern Division finalists.
Both sides took to the ice with depleted lineups and penalties only exacerbated the situation for Saugeen, who found themselves falling victim to the Muskies power-play on a goal by Tuckey from Jeff Birr and Josh Duerden at 8:40 of the first period.
Through the second, both teams looked like they would only trade
chances until late in the period they swapped a pair of goals, 41 seconds apart, in the last two minutes. First it was Saugeen Shores' Brent MacDermid sneaking one past Senay before Ryan Clarke had help from Derrick Robson and Thompson in restoring the Shelburne lead.
Bill Boyes made it 3-1 with his second of the season; an unassisted marker just 40 seconds into the third.
Saugeen would draw back within a goal one last time at 12:03, but from that point on, the game was all Shelburne's with goals from Ted Butcher and Thompson (power-play) while Senay nailed shut the back door to give the Muskies a well-deserved 5-2 win over the Winterhawks.
With the win and still undefeated after four games, Shelburne now currently sits two point back of 5-0 Elora in the WOAA Northern Division standings, tied for second with Ripley (4-3-0) at eight points.
Notable for the Muskies at this points are some of the numbers up on the statistics board.
While last year the Fish lead the league in penalty minutes, this year they currently sit with the third lowest total in the league, with just 89 minutes in four games and they have yet to give up a single powerplay goal to date this season.
This weekend, the Fish will be crossing the half way point of this extended early season road trip with games in Walkerton on Friday and Lucknow, Saturday.
While Walkerton has yet to win a game this season and Lucknow sits behind Shelburne in the standings, you can count on neither team giving the Fish a free pass as both are hungry for wins to improve their own records.
Game time for Friday night's contest in Walkerton is 8:30 p.m. while Saturday night, they start a half hour earlier in Lucknow.