A breakout third period helped push the Hamilton Red Wings to a 7-5 victory over the Pickering Panthers on Monday night. The win is the Red Wings’ second straight.
The win gives Hamilton a 15-25-0-1 record with 31 points, just one behind the Buffalo Junior Sabres.
Hamilton’s Nicholas Lepone got things started quickly for the Red Wings, netting the home team’s first goal of the game just fourteen seconds into the opening period. The Richmond Hill native netted his fifth goal of the season since joining the Red Wings.
Mark Tenuta evened the score for Pickering just six minutes later, finding the back of the net at 6:20 of the period. Ryan Punkari restored Hamilton’s lead at 12:23 of the period, finding the back of the net with his sixth goal of the season.
Pickering quickly evened the score once again with Daniel Butchart’s goal at 13:39 of the period, followed by Riley Devine with a short handed goal at 16:45.
The Red Wings tied the game early in the second period thanks to a quick goal from Khadyn Butterfly at 1:30. Just a few minutes later Joseph Mitchell gave the Red Wings the lead once again at 3:31, but the lead would be short lived with Pickering’s Mark Tenuta evening the score once again just twenty seconds later.
After the 4-4 tie would run through the end of the second period, Jason OConnor broke the tie early in the third period. The Stoney Creek native found the back of the net for his fourth goal of the season at 4:04 of the period. Just under ten minutes later the Red Wings would increase their lead to two goals with Matt Smith’s third of the season at 13:27.
The Panthers would add one more late goal, as would Hamilton’s Laine McKay with an empty netter, but the Red Wings would hold on to take the game 7-5.
Laine McKay and Nicholas Lepone finished the game with a pair of assists while Carl Greco, Jeff Joynt, Rylee St. Onge, Jason OConnor, and Josh LaFrance each picked up a helper.
Jordan Cartney made 28 saves on 33 shots in net for the Red Wings.
Next up the Red Wings will hit the road to visit the Newmarket Hurricanes on Thursday night. You can follow along to live play-by-play with us on Twitter by following the hashtag #HTRedWings when the puck drops at Ray Twinney Recreation Complex at 7:30pm.