Saginaw ends playoff run with loss to Sarnia

The Saginaw Spirit (4-7) lost 4-0 to the Sarnia Sting (8-2) Thursday, April 20, at the Dow...
The Saginaw Spirit (4-7) lost 4-0 to the Sarnia Sting (8-2) Thursday, April 20, at the Dow Event Center, and were swept by the third place Sting.(Eric Young)
Published: Apr. 20, 2023 at 10:33 PM EDT
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Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit (4-7) lost 4-0 to the Sarnia Sting (8-2) Thursday, April 20, at the Dow Event Center, and were swept by the third-place Sting.

Benjamin Gaudreau posted his second shutout of the series by stopping all 25 shots faced for Sarnia. Marcus Limpar-Lantz scored a goal and an assist for the Sting.

The game began with Saginaw down two skaters after Nic Sima and Mitchell Smith both went to the box for high sticking at 4:38 and 5:49. Just before the first penalty expired, Sarnia netted their first goal of the game at 6:30. Christian Kyrou left the puck for Ty Voit at the left wing in Saginaw’s zone. The Toronto Maple Leafs pick sent a pass to Luca Del Bel Belluz at the right wing. The center rifled a shot over Tristan Lennox’s glove, earning his sixth of the postseason in the process.

Zach Filak was called for slashing at 14:37 in the first period, giving Saginaw their first powerplay of the game. Almost immediately after the advantage ended, Roberto Mancini committed a holding penalty at 16:40, which sent the Sting to a man-advantage. Neither team scored on the chances.

With 62 seconds remaining in the first frame, Sarnia added to their lead. Marcus Limpar-Lantz received a pass from Ethan Ritchie in the Spirit’s zone. The center sent a shot at Lennox, and he made the save. A scramble at the goaltender’s doorstep developed, and Easton Wainwright pushed the puck past Lennox to make it 2-0.

At the end of the first period, the Sting held a 13-8 shot lead and led the game, 2-0.

The second period started with the Spirit on an extended man-advantage after Brenden Anderson went to the box for interference and an unsportsmanlike at 3:20. Despite being down a skater, Sarnia was able to add to their lead at 4:38. A Sting skater cleared the puck and Lennox went behind his net to start the breakout. Marcus Limpar-Lantz stole the puck and put it into the open net for his second of the playoffs.

The rest of the frame resulted in back-and-forth play, but ultimately ended with Sarnia leading 3-0 but Saginaw leading shots, 20-18.

The third period opened with Saginaw taking multiple penalties back-to-back. The Sting were unable to score on any of the chances.

Sarnia made it 4-0 at 8:57 in the third frame. Easton Wainwright passed up to Tyson Doucette and he flew into Saginaw’s zone. The winger rifled a shot past Lennox for his second of the postseason. Ryan Mast earned an assist on the play.

Neither team scored after that point, and Sarnia won 4-0 with a 31-25 shot lead. Sarnia advances to the Western Conference Final for the first time in franchise history, while the Spirit see their season end after 11 postseason games. They finish with a postseason record of 4-7.