Wearing Gears jerseys, Spirit return home to host in-state rival Firebirds
SAGINAW, Mich. (WNEM) - The Saginaw Spirit (19-9-2-0) will pen another chapter in the Coors Light I75 Divide Cup series against the Flint Firebirds (16-10-2-1) Wednesday, December 14, at the Dow Event Center. The Spirit are hosting Hometown Heroes night as well as wearing throwback Saginaw Gears jerseys. The jerseys will be auctioned off at the end of the game with proceeds going to CAN Council of the Great Lakes Bay Region.
Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.
Phone: (989) 497-7747
In-Person: Saginaw Spirit Store (6321 State St.), Dow Event Center Box Office
Television: CHL TV, CHL App, OHL Action Pak Ch. 466
Radio: 100.5 FM WSGW, WSGW.com
Saginaw fell 4-2 to the North Bay Battalion Sunday, December 11, at the North Bay Memorial Gardens. Rookie Liam Storch scored his first OHL goal and Anaheim Ducks prospect Pavel Mintyukov had two points in the loss.
Flint lost 6-3 to the Sarnia Sting Saturday, December 10, at the Dort Financial Center in Flint, Michigan. Zacharie Giroux scored the first Firebirds goal, and Detroit Red Wings prospect Amadeus Lombardi scored his team-leading 18th goal in the loss.
The Spirit and Firebirds have each claimed a game in the season series so far. Flint took the first game 7-2 October 26, and an overtime goal from rookie Michael Misa on November 23 gave Saginaw a 4-3 win from the Dort Financial Center.
Players to Watch:
Minnesota Wild Prospect Hunter Haight is on a seven-game point streak, including an assist in Saginaw’s previous game against North Bay. In that span, he has amassed five goals and eight assists. Pavel Mintyukov leads all OHL defensemen in points (39) and leads Saginaw in assists (26). 2022 OHL first overall pick Michael Misa’s 16 goals are the most for his team. Tristan Lennox leads Saginaw goaltenders with a 3.12 goals against average (GAA) and an .886 save percentage (SV%).
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Braeden Kressler is tied for second in the OHL for shorthanded goals (2). Amadeus Lombardi’s 18 goals, 22 assists, and 40 points are each the most for any Firebird skater. Boe Piroski leads Flint goaltenders with a 3.00 GAA and a .909 SV%. (I spent 30 minutes combing just about every player for any streaks, leads, or anything besides this.)
The Opportunity of a Lifetime
The Spirit will be without center Matyas Sapovaliv and goaltender Andrew Oke in tonight’s contest. Both players were invited by their respective countries (Czechia and the United States) to evaluation camp ahead IIHF World Junior Championship. Sapovaliv and Oke are both making their second appearance on the World Junior stage. They will return following the tournament’s conclusion in early January.
Saginaw has four (4) players drafted into the National Hockey League (NHL), including Pavel Mintyukov (Anaheim), Matyas Sapovaliv (Vegas), Tristan Lennox (New York Islanders), and Hunter Haight (Minnesota).
Flint has six (6) players drafted into the NHL, including Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg), Gavin Hayes (Chicago), Will Cranley (St. Louis), Braeden Kressler (Toronto, FA), Amadeus Lombardi (Detroit), and Artem Guryev (San Jose).
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