Spirit hang on against Erie, 3-2 for sixth straight win

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Published: Nov. 18, 2023 at 12:08 PM EST
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ERIE, Penn. - The Saginaw Spirit (10-7-0-1) defeated the Erie Otters (8-8-3-0) by a score of 3-2 for their sixth consecutive victory. Michael Misa scored his team-leading tenth of the season with 57.4 left in regulation for the game-winner. Andrew Oke stopped 38 of 40 for his seventh win of the season.

The game was scoreless until 8:41 into the first period. Ethan Hay made a pass off the wall to rookie Aiden Young whose wrap around chance bounced off of Sarnia goaltender Ben Gaudreau. Dean Loukus was there for the rebound and immediately took a shot on goal. His fifth of the season slipped through Gaudreau and the Spirit took a 1-0 lead over Erie.

Saginaw’s newly acquired Rodwin Dionicio took a seat in the penalty box for hooking with 2:25 left in the first period. This penalty gave Erie their first power play opportunity of the night. However, the Spirit’s defense remained strong and allowed only two shots during the chance.

Saginaw led Erie 1-0 at the end of the first period with the Otters outshooting them 13-10.

Saginaw Struck again with 12 minutes left in the second period when Matyas Sapovaliv took the puck behind the net to then pass to Calem Mangone at the hash marks. Mangone wasted no time taking a shot past Ben Gaudreau, his 100th OHL point giving Saginaw the 2-0 lead.

The Otters suffered a penalty when Martin Misiak was ejected for a hit from behind on James Guo. Misiak was ejected from the game and the Spirit found themselves on a five-minute powerplay.

Saginaw’s Rodwin Dionicio suffered another penalty for hooking with 1:37 left in the second period. Erie took advantage of this power play opportunity when Sam Alfano passed the puck up to Spencer Sova who then took a shot on goal. The puck flew past Andrew Oke’s head and into the net to cut the Otters deficit to 2-1 with 15 seconds left in the second period. Pano Fimis was also credited with an assist on this goal.

The second period ended with Saginaw still in the lead over Erie 2-1. The Otters outshot the Spirit 13-3 in the period, and 26-13 in the game to that point.

After a back and forth battle, the Otters were able to tie the game with 8:02 left in regulation. Sam Alfano passed up to Matthew Schaefer who then broke away to take a shot between the inner hash marks. The puck escaped Andrew Oke and the game drew even at 2-2.

Erie’s Pano Fimis was called for tripping with 3 minutes left to go in the game. The Spirit were not able to score on this power play opportunity, however, they would soon score nonetheless. Michael Misa received a pass from Hunter Haight to take a long shot from the left faceoff circle, sailing the puck right past Ben Gaudreau to give Saginaw a 3-2 lead over Erie with less than one minute left.

Saginaw escaped Erie with a 3-2 victory. The Otters would outshoot the Spirit 40-21 (14-8 in the third period). Andrew Oke stopped 38 Erie shots as the Spirit claimed their sixth straight victory.

Saginaw’s next game will be in Niagara against the IceDogs on Saturday, November 18th. Puck drop is at 7:05pm at the Meridian Centre.

For more information, visit saginawspirit.com or follow the team on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok.