Saginaw, MI. - The Saginaw Spirit came out on top against West Division rival Soo Greyhounds in a 5-4 victory in front of 3,286 fans for Nexteer Robotics Night on Sunday evening at The Dow Event Center.
The Spirit got an early opportunity to take the lead, but failed to cash in on a check from behind call on Greyhounds rookie Marc Boudreau just 1:13 in to the game.
It was T-Bone Codd who was whistled for the first Spirit penalty of the game at 6:53. Nearing the end of the kill, Tristan Lennox came up with two big saves. Just after Codd was released from the box, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Mason Millman passed the puck from the right corner to New York Islanders prospect Blade Jenkins. Jenkins slid a backdoor pass to the left of the crease for Jake Goldowski for a one-timer into the Soo net for the first goal of the game.
An individual effort from Greyhounds Kalvyn Watson got the Greyhounds on the board to tie the game. Watson skated to the right-wing circle and avoided a check from Millman and cut to the center of the ice, where he buried a wrist shot from the right face-off dot for his first career OHL goal.
With 32 seconds remaining in the first period, Reilly Webb passed the puck to Cole Coskey at the right boards. Coskey found D.J. King who got the puck in deep past Soo goaltender Christian Propp to extend the Spirit lead to 2-1. The Spirit would remain in that lead at the conclusion of the period. Saginaw outshot the Hounds 15-11 in the first period.
Saginaw, Michigan native Mitchell Smith received a two minute minor for throwing his stick at 6:29 of the second period, making it a Greyhounds power play.
Still on the power play, Greyhounds Billy Constantinou skated to the bottom of the right-wing circle. With no Spirit players around, Constantinou had a wide-open opportunity and scored the Greyhounds second goal of the game.
Less than two minutes after the Greyhounds goal, Danny Katic stole the puck from a Soo defenseman at the blue line. He took a shot between the hashes that beat goaltender Propp, glove side, and gave the Spirit the lead once again, 3-2.
2020 top NHL prospect Cole Perfetti skated around the right of the net and took a shot, which rebounded off of Propp’s pads. Millman received the rebound and took the shot to put the Spirit on top by two goals. The assist gave Perfetti 100 career points in the Ontario Hockey League, the fastest Spirit player to 100 points in Team history.
A penalty was called on Greyhounds Constantinou for slashing with 2:30 remaining in the second.
While Saginaw was on the power play, a Soo clear down the ice that landed in the restricted area of the defensive zone caused a challenge for the Spirit. With Lennox unable to play the puck, Zack Trott got body position on Mason Millman, won possession of the puck, and passed to the front of the goal for a wide-open Jaromir Pytlik. The Czech Import scored on the backhand to get the Hounds within a goal before the second period break. The shorthanded goal for Pytlik was his sixth goal of the year, and team-leading 19th point.
With the Spirit already on their third power play of the period, they were unable to tally that all-important insurance goal, going 0-for-7 on the power play. The Spirit have not scored a power play goal after a 6-for-13 stretch in last weekend’s home win against North Bay and Kitchener.
With only 9:14 remaining in regulation, Marc Boudreau passed the puck from the left-wing circle to Robert Calisti. Calisti took the shot from between the hashes to make it a tie game. The goal for Calisti was his fourth of the season.
Perfetti passed the puck to Coskey at the top of the slot. Coskey passed the puck along to Millman who skated up between the hash marks. Millman got his second goal of the game and broke the tie. The Spirit were victorious, 5-4, and beat the Soo for the second time this season.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
Mason Millman (SAG) 2G, ACole Perfetti (SAG) 2AReilly Webb (SAG) 2A
The Saginaw Spirit take on the Barrie Colts for the first time this season at The Dow Event Center on Friday, November 1. Puck drop is at 7:05 p.m.
Friday marks the return of Trunk or Treat at The Dow Event Center. There will be trunk or treating in the Red Room before the game from 5:30 p.m. till 7:00 p.m. The Spirit will be selling $6 Covenant Kids tickets for Friday’s game against the Colts.
Fans can catch all the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.fmtalk1005.com with Art Lewis and the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call. “Countdown to Face-off” begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.