SARNIA, Ont. – On Monday afternoon, the Saginaw Spirit and the Sarnia Sting met at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena for their sixth and final meeting of the season. Three third period goals helped propel the Spirit to a 6-5 victory over the Sting. The Spirit are now five points back of the Sting for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference.
The Saginaw Spirit got off to a fast start, getting scoring chances on three consecutive shifts to open the contest. However, it was the Sarnia Sting who struck first. Drake Rymsha and Jordan Kyrou set up a pass in the bottom left circle to Jordan Ernst, who shot the puck in front of Evan Cormier and found its way into the right side of the cage for a power play goal at 8:19 of the period. The Spirit tied the game at 17:29 on the first of four power play goals on the afternoon. Filip Hronek passed the puck to Hodgson in front of the goalie crease, Hodgson backhanded it to the right side of Justin Fazio to earn his 11th power play goal of the season. Marcus Crawford also assisted on the play. Shots on goal favored the Sting, 12-11 and the game was tied at 1-1.
The second period brought on combative goal scoring. Jaden Lindo received a pass from Ryan McGregor in the Sting zone, McGregor carried the puck up the left side into the Spirit zone and shot the puck over Evan Cormier’s left pad at 3:11 of the period. Jordan Kyrou extended the Sing lead to two goals. The St. Louis Blues second round pick scored on Cormier’s five-hole from the bottom of the left circle at 5:45 of the period.
The Spirit cut the Sarnia lead to 3-2 soon after. Filip Hronek sent the puck to Marcus Crawford from the blue line. Crawford shot from the top of the right circle and sent the puck through Cole Coskey’s legs and over Justin Fazio’s left pad. Also assisting on the play at 9:32 was Matthew Kreis.
Just six seconds after the goal to bring the Spirit within one, Jordan Kyrou headed toward the Spirit zone on a breakaway from the ensuing face off. Kyrou shot the puck over Cormier’s right pad to give the Sting another two-goal advantage.
At 11:59, Kris Bennett shot from the left circle. Matthew Kreis found himself in front of the goalie crease with the rebound, earning his 10th goal of the season. Also assisting on the play was Hayden Hodgson. Shots on goal in the second period favored the Spirit, 14-9. The Sting led, 4-3.
In the third period, the goal-scoring continued, but it was the Spirit who took over. Filip Hronek set up Marcus Crawford with a wrist shot from the blue line. Hayden Hodgson was waiting in front of the goalie crease and tipped the puck into the net for his 32nd goal of the season, to lead the Saginaw Spirit.
Filip Hronek carried the puck up the right side of the Sting zone and riffled the puck into the roof of the net, exploding the water bottle that belonged to Justin Fazio. Hayden Davis assisted on the play at 4:23 of the period. At 5:44, Kris Bennett earned his 20th goal of the season as he sent the puck through Fazio’s legs. Bennett has earned a goal in each game played against the Sting this season, marking his sixth goal verse the Sting. The power play goal to put the Spirit up 6-4 was assisted by Matthew Kreis and Marcus Crawford.
Drake Rymsha shot from the blue line and sent the puck to the back of the net. Jordan Kyrou and Troy Lajeunesse assisted on the play at 6:25 of the period. Final shots on goal favored the Spirit, 40-32.
On January 29, Marcus Crawford set a frachise record for most assists by a defenseman in a single game with five, Crawford added a goal and four assists Monday for his second five-point game of the season against the Sarnia Sting.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
The Saginaw Spirit face-off against the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday, February 23. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. in Windsor.
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