ERIE, PA. – On Friday night, the Saginaw Spirit (27-23-8-0) played the second of two road games in two nights with the most recent installment coming against the Erie Otters (19-29-7-3). Riding a two-game winning streak, Erie continued its success with an opening two-goal period and held a 2-1 lead after 20 minutes. Blade Jenkins accounted for Saginaw’s lone goal with a well-placed wrist shot on the powerplay. Neither team found the scoresheet in the second period, although Saginaw applied heavy pressure to close out the frame. In response, Erie buried two goals in quick succession during the third period to put the contest out of reach at 4-1. Erie outshot Saginaw by a slim margin, 27-26.
In the initial frame, Erie showed comfort in its home building as the Otters built and end-to-end rush complete with a Kyle Maksimovich goal to cap the play. Just 1:15 seconds later, Erie doubled its lead when Chad Yetman's stick redirected a shot attempt from the blue line, putting the Otters up 2-0 less than five minutes into the game. Saginaw settled into the contest and regained ground when Blade Jenkins buried a wrister from the right faceoff dot into the top right corner of the Erie net. Nicholas Porco and Duncan Penman both assisted on Jenkins' 18th tally of the season. Saginaw outshot Erie 11-7 in the first period.
In the second frame, Evan Cormier led the Spirit to a clean slate defensively with six saves to his credit. Along the way, Saginaw committed two penalties but exhibited resilient efforts in killing off those two calls. Max Grondin, a NHL draft-eligible forward, paced the Spirit with two shots on goal in the stanza as Saginaw outshot the Otters 7-6.
In the third period, Erie returned to the ice determined to stretch the club's one-goal lead and did just that with 14 shots in the period. With 5:18 expired in the frame, Erie forward Maxim Golod had the puck deep behind the Spirit net and dished to a net-front Patrick Fellows, who promptly scored the Otter's third goal of the night. Less than three minutes later, Owen Headrick walked the blue line to open up a shooting lane and scored from distance to put the Otters up 4-1. Erie finished the period with 14 shots to Saginaw's eight.
Applebee's Three Stars of the Game
1 Owen Headrick (ER) – G, A, +2
2. Kyle Maksimovich (ER) – G, +1
3. Daniel Murphy (ER) – W, 25 saves
The Saginaw Spirit (27-23-8-0, 62 points, 3rd in West Division) return home to the friendly confines of The Dow Event Center on Sunday, February 25th, 2018 for a matchup against the Oshawa Generals (28-26-3-0). The puck drops at 5:30 p.m. for Covenant Kids Day with $5 tickets available to kids 12 & under.
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