Sault Ste. Marie, ON. – The West Division leading Saginaw Spirit defeated the Soo Greyhounds, 4-3 in an overtime thriller on the road Wednesday evening. The Spirit extended the West Division lead to two points over the Windsor Spitfires and Greyhounds with the victory.
Goaltender Tristan Lennox stopped 35 Soo shots to collect his fourth win of the season.
Saginaw captain Damien Giroux led the way offensively with two goals, including the overtime winner.
Lennox was tested by the Greyhounds early as center Alex Johnston streaked into the Saginaw zone. Johnston stick-handled around a Spirit defender but Lennox held strong and denied the Johnston deke attempt to keep the game scoreless.
After Montreal Canadiens draft choice Jacob LeGuerrier was called for a holding penalty, the Spirit capitalized on the man-power advantage to open the scoring 10:09 into the first period.
New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey hammered home his eighth goal of the season on a one-timer from the left face-off dot. Defenseman Ilya Solovyov sent a nice pass over for the heavy one-time shot that beat Soo goaltender Christian Propp.
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario native Camaryn Baber nearly added to the Spirit lead just over three minutes into the second frame. Forward Danny Katic dropped the puck off to the trailer Baber, who took a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle that Propp fought off with his blocker.
As 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti served a too-many-men penalty called on the Spirit, left-winger Zach Trott’s redirected shot was stopped by Lennox who was able to cover the puck.
Lennox and the Saginaw Spirit short handed unit was tested with defenseman D.J. King called for a roughing minor with 1:15 left in the too-many-man minor. Saginaw alternate captain D.J. Busdeker blocked two shots and Jacob Goldowski lifted a Soo stick to keep the puck out of the Saginaw net.
Coskey nearly scored his second goal with just over four minutes remaining in the second period. King’s cross-ice pass just bounced off the Saginaw right-winger’s stick with the open side of the net.
The Soo tied the score with 2:12 left in the middle frame with Greyhounds alternate captain Cole MacKay’s fifth goal of the season. Defenseman Holden Wale’s shot from the left half-wall rebounded to MacKay, who put it under Lennox’s pad for the goal.
The Spirit answered just 18 seconds later with Thornhurst, Pennsylvania native Goldowski’s third goal of the season. Goldowski was able to sneak a backhand shot from the left goal-line between Propp and the left post for the goal.
Saginaw took a one-goal lead into the second intermission despite being outshot, 28-16 through two periods of play.
Saginaw leading goal scorer Giroux gave the Spirit a two-goal lead just 1:05 into the third period with his 10th goal of the season. The Minnesota Wild draft pick used his speed to go wide around the Greyhounds defense and shot a backhand that deflected off a Soo defender’s skate into the net.
During a delayed penalty, newly acquired Soo defenseman Billy Constantinou brought the Greyhounds to within a goal. The former Kingston Frontenac’s shot from the right face-off circle deflected off a Saginaw skate into the net for his second goal of the season.
There seemed to be some confusion on the play, as is appeared Damien Giroux had possessed the puck, and shot it against the boards to bring a whistle on the delayed penalty. The whistle was never blown, and the Spirit were unable to recover defensively.
Whitby, Ontario native Perfetti nearly answered for the Spirit just over a minute later on a wide rush. The Saginaw sniper took a quick snapshot from the left face-off dot that just clanked off the crossbar.
The Greyhounds tied the game with just 7:52 remaining in regulation with defenseman Holden Wale’s second goal of the season. Wale’s centering pass from the bottom of the left circle redirected off a Spirit defenseman’s skate into the Saginaw net to tie the game, 3-3.
During three-on-three overtime, Solovyov nearly ended the game early on a end-to-end rush. The puck just rolled off the Belarusian defenseman’s stick as Solovyov attempted a deke through the slot.
Saginaw ended the game just 2:47 left in overtime on Giroux’s second goal of the game and 11th of the season. After a face-off in the Greyhounds zone, Solovyov sent a cross-ice backdoor pass over to Giroux to the right of the net, who beat a sliding Propp for the goal.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
Tristan Lennox (SAG) W, 35 savesChristian Propp (SOO) OTL, 24 savesDamien Giroux (SAG) 2G, +1
The Saginaw Spirit returns home to start a two-game weekend homestand when take on the Central Division’s North Bay Battalion Friday, October 18 for the first of two meetings this season. Puck drop from The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan begins at 7:05 p.m.
The Spirit faces off against the Kitchener Rangers for the second time this season Saturday, October 19 at The Dow, with puck drop beginning at 7:05 p.m. Saginaw dropped the first match-up on the road to open the season, 5-4 in an overtime thriller.
Fans can catch this weekend’s action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.wsgw.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.