The Hinton Timberwolves exploded out of the gate during a three-game home set over Thanksgiving weekend and rode the big start to two wins over the Barrhead Bombers.
Hinton dominated the Bombers to open the weekend with Jamahl Eakett pacing the offence with three goals and seven points in an 11-1 rout of the visitors.
Dimitri Buttazzoni added a hat-trick of his own, while Connor Kowalchuk, Bryan Joseph, Nicolas Cirelli, Jakob Arsenault and Brendan Auger all had one goal each.
Dawson Basnett and Damon Belcourt added two assists each and Logan Arsenault and Mario Decapite had one assist each.
Timberwolves goalie Adam Robertson had his shutout broken with 4:59 remaining in the game, but made 24 stops in the win.
It looked like the rout was back on when the two teams face off again the following night with Hinton building a 2-0 lead in the opening minutes on goals by Jakob Arsenault and Decapite.
Defenceman Dorian Hall made it 3-0 in the final minute of the first period and Eakett, with his first of two in the game, made it 4-0 in the opening minutes of the second period.
But the Bombers, composed of primarily younger players in the squads inaugural year, began to hold their own in the second half of the game in part due to the goaltending of Ian Soltar.
Timberwolves goalie Carter Wickson was also having a solid game and held Barrhead off the scoreboard until 4:06 remaining in the third period.
The Bombers scored again 15 seconds later to make it 4-2 and keep things interesting until Eakett scored with 19.8 seconds left to make it a 5-2 final for Hinton.
Hinton had the tall task of closing out a three-day home set against a fresh Edson Aeros squad, which hadn’t played since the previous weekend.
Hinton couldn’t find its mojo early and fell behind 5-0 on the back of three Edson power play goals, chasing Timberwolves starting tender Robertson from the game after the fifth tally at 14:01 of the second period. Wickson made seven saves in relief.
Eakett and Buttazzoni scored a pair of goals midway through the period to get Hinton on the board and Hall scored his second goal of the weekend to close out a 6-3 loss. Auger had a pair of assists while Eakett, Buttazzoni and Max Sturko had one each.
Hinton remains atop the Provincial Division standings with three wins and two losses and face another three-game home stand this coming weekend when they welcome opponents from the Northwest Division of the Western States Hockey League.
Hinton hosts the undefeated Seattle Totems (2-0) on Friday at 8 pm and Sunday at 2 pm.
The Bellingham Blazers (2-2) are in town on Saturday with a puck drop of 7:30 pm.