Saginaw played host to first-place Sault Ste. Marie at The Dow Event Center on Saturday to finish off a busy weekend of hockey.
The game featured some back and forth scoring that eventually gave way to a Greyhounds overtime victory, 5-4.
Saginaw struck first to take a 1-0 lead four minutes into the first period when Justin Kea and Jeremiah Addison found a trailing Terry Trafford who finished the play off for his seventh goal of the season.
Sault Ste. Marie's Sergey Tolchinsky displayed some dexterity when he redirected Kevin Spinozzi's slapshot past Saginaw's Jake Paterson to tie the game at one with seven minutes remaining in the period, with another assist being credited to Michael Bunting. The Greyhounds were at it again when David Miller finished off assists from Sergey Tolchinsky and Michael Bunting to take a 2-1 lead with four minutes to play in the opening period.
Less than a minute later the Spirit's Luke Cairns capitalized on a breakaway opportunity that was set up by Jimmy Lodge to score a nifty backhand goal for his sixth of the season, tying the game, 2-2.
A fast paced second period remained deadlocked until the nine minute mark when Sault Ste. Marie's Alex Gudbranson fired home a wicked wrister that was set up by Blake Speers and Patrick Watling to go up 3-2.
The score remained 3-2 thanks to some stellar goaltending by Spirit's Jake Paterson, a recent selection to the Canadian U20 World Junior team, and the Greyhound's Matt Murray, who was selected by the Pittsburgh Penguins in the 2012 NHL entry draft.
The Spirit's Jimmy Lodge tied the game, 3-3, with assists from Sean Callaghan and Jesse Graham four minutes into the third period. Saginaw took their first lead of the game at the midway point of the the third period when Justin Kea found the back of the net with help from Terry Trafford and Jacob Ringuette making it a 4-3 game.
With less than two minutes to play in the third period Sault Ste. Marie's Patrick Watling broke free for a breakaway goal that was assisted by Darnell Nurse and Tyler Gaudet to tie the game at four.
The game found its way into overtime where the Greyhounds' Sergy Tolchinsky with one minute left in the overtime session scored his second with this one being the game winning goal of the night with an assist being credited to Colton White to make it a 5-4 final score.
The Saginaw Spirit hit the road Wednesday, December 11th to take on the Plymouth Whalers. Then the Spirit are home for two home games Friday and Saturday, December 13th and 14th to take on the Peterborough Petes and the Kitchener Rangers, both with 7:11 p.m. puck droppings. For tickets and everything Saginaw Spirit, call 989-497-7747.
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