Hamilton Junior Red Wings, who normally use opposition goalies for target practice, found themselves in an unusual position Friday night.
The Wings could muster only 17 shots at Oakville netminder Matt Hoyle and the result was a 5-1 Ontario Provincial Junior A Hockey League win for the Blades. Corey Stringer’s third period goal, scored at 2:44, cut Oakville’s lead to 3-1 but a pair of powerplay markers by the Blades cost Hamilton first place in the OPJHL’s West Division.
Hamilton and Oakville share second spot – but the Wings have a game-in-hand – with 76 points each, one behind the Brampton Capitals.
Chase Langeraap, with two goals, Jamie Vanderveeken, Daniel Calitri, and Fraser Smith scored for the Blades, who had 30 shots on goalie Cam Talbot.
Thirty-five penalties were called in the game, most of them late in the third period.
Hamilton plays in Georgetown tonight and wraps up its regular season schedule at home, at the Dave Andreychuk Mountain Arena, on Monday. Georgetown will provide the opposition for the 7.30 p.m.