SAGINAW, MI. – The Saginaw Spirit face-off against the Sudbury Wolves for the first of two meetings this season Saturday evening. The puck drop is at 7:05 p.m at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, MI pitting two of the highest ranked players heading into the 2020 NHL Draft, Quinton Byfield of the Sudbury Wolves and Cole Perfetti of the Saginaw Spirit.
This game marks the return of the 13th annual Pink Out Game at The Dow presented by Ascension St. Mary’s where the first 2,000 fans will receive a complimentary Pink Clapper. Fans are invited to remain after the game to partake in the post-game jersey auction with the proceeds will go to the St. Mary’s Breast Cancer Fund, helping to provide mammograms and ultrasounds for qualified under-insured or uninsured patients.
Arrive early to the Budweiser Red Room for the “90-minute power play” featuring $2 domestic beers, $2 hot dogs, and $2 ice cream cups up until puck drop at 7:05 p.m.
Fans can tune into tonight’s game live on 100.5 Newsradio WSGW, www.wsgw.com, and iHeartRadio beginning at 6:50 p.m. with host Charley Porter. The voice of the Spirit, Joey Battaino and Art Lewis have the play-by-play coverage at 7:05 p.m.
Don’t forget to catch tonight’s game on “Saginaw Spirit Rewind” Sunday night at 8:00 p.m on WNEM TV 5+ (Antenna: 5.2, Spectrum 199, Xfinity (Flint) 4)
On Friday, the Spirit played just their third game on the road since Oct. 6, facing off against the London Knights for the second time this season. The Spirit won the first contest at The Dow Event Center on Oct. 12.
The Knights took the lead on the opening shift of the game with Washington Capitals signee Connor McMichael’s team-leading 10th goal of the season.
Rookie forward Ethan Cardwell brought the Spirit back even with his fourth goal of the season 7:48 into the first period.
Jackson, Michigan native Blade Jenkins made a quick turnaround move on a London defender to create space in the left circle. The New York Islanders prospect sent took a shot that Cardwell redirected into the net for the goal.
With just 26 seconds left in the first period, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Antonio Stranges found Billy Moskal in the slot with a nice pass from behind the Saginaw net. The London center Moskal took a quick wrist shot that beat Lennox’s glove for his first goal of the season to give the Knights back the one-goal lead.
London made it a two-goal lead with 6:08 on a deflection by 2018 Columbus Blue Jackets first round pick Liam Foudy. Foudy redirected Bryce Montgomery’s one-timer from the point into the top-corner for his third goal of the season to give the Knights a 3-1 lead.
With Merkley in the penalty box the Spirit pulled Lennox to make it a six-on-four situation with just under four minutes left in regulation. London’s McMichael iced the puck into Saginaw’s empty net from the Knights zone for his second goal of the game to give the Knights the 5-1 victory.
The Wolves are coming off of a 5-2 loss against the Flint Firebirds on Friday night.
The Firebirds scored the first three goals of the game to lead 3-0 after the first period. Ethan Keppen was first on the board at 7:28 of the opening frame.
Jack Wismer scored his third goal in two games at 9:11 to put the Firebirds on top 2–0. Connor Roberts made a quick backhand pass. Wismer found an opening and sniped a shot.
Jack Phibbs scored Flint’s third goal of the first period at 19:12. Hunter Holmes made a pass to Phibbs as two Wolves’ defenders followed Holmes. Phibbs skated in on net and backhanded the puck in.
Sudbury found the back of the net at the 7:09 mark of the second period. Owen Gilhula passed to Blake Murray who skated in all alone and found the five-hole for the first goal of the game for the Wolves.
Owen Robinson received a powerplay goal for Sudbury at 18:44. He received a pass to the left of Popovich, and buried the puck.
Trailing by two, Sudbury called goaltender Mitchell Weeks to the bench with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Ty Dellandrea scored his sixth of the season into the empty net to seal the victory with 45 seconds remaining.
Spirit head coach Chris Lazary confirmed earlier in the week that former Sudbury Wolves goaltender Marshall Frappier will be starting in net for the Saginaw Spirit against his former team.
The Sudbury Wolves have two players on their roster with NHL ties in Blake Murray (Carolina) and Kalle Loponen (Toronto).
Sudbury has three players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list, including ‘A’ prospect Quinton Byfield, ‘B’ prospect Jack Thompson, ‘C’ prospect Isaak Phillips.
The Saginaw Spirit have a total of five players on their roster with NHL ties. Blade Jenkins (NY Islanders), Cole Coskey (NY Islanders), Mason Millman (Philadelphia), Nicholas Porco (Dallas), and Damien Giroux (Minnesota).
Saginaw has two players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list, including ‘A’ prospect Cole Perfetti. Rookie Ethan Cardwell is listed as a ‘C’ prospect.
The NHL Central Scouting Service uses letter grades to classify their rankings. ‘A’ prospect is classified as a potential first round pick. A ‘B’ prospect is classified as a second or third round candidate. A ‘C’ prospect is classified as a potential fourth, fifth, or sixth round pick.
The Spirit will be at home again Sunday evening to play the Soo Greyhounds. Puck drop will be at 5:30 p.m. at the Dow Event Center.