34 saves earns Brendan Bonello 1st star honors; Brady Gilmour scores 26th


SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – On Friday night, the Saginaw Spirit visited the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario for the fourth and final time this season. After two scoreless periods, the teams exploded for four goals in the final frame. However, three of those goals went in the Greyhounds’ favor as the Spirit fell, 3-1.


In the opening frame, Brendan Bonello and Matthew Villalta kept their respective nets empty. Although the Spirit committed three penalties, their stellar defense kept the Greyhounds at bay and no goals were allowed. Sault Ste. Marie led Saginaw in shots on goal, 14-5.


It was more of the same in the second period as no goals were scored by either team. However, each team committed two penalties which resulted in four fruitless power plays. Sault Ste. Marie led Saginaw in shots on goal, 13-11.


The Spirit got the scoring started just six seconds into the third period. Brady Gilmour won the opening faceoff and slid the puck behind him to Markus Niemelainen. Niemelainen made a cross-ice pass to Marcus Crawford as a defender approached. Crawford made a crisp pass to Gilmour, who skated up the slot untouched. Gilmour scored his 26th goal of the year as he shot a laser past Matthew Villalta’s blocker side.


Bobby MacIntyre tied the game up, 1-1, at 15:32 of the period. Morgan Frost gained control of the puck near the left board. He quickly made a pass to Barrett Hayton at the left circle. Hayton made a slick pass to MacIntyre for the one-time shot from the right circle. The goal was the overager’s 28th goal of the season.


Three minutes later the Greyhounds took the lead when Jack Kopacka tallied his 30th goal. Conor Timmins took a shot near the left board, but it missed the net and landed behind the net. Blake Speers gained control of it while being surrounded by Spirit defenders. He somehow managed to make a pass to Kopacka who hovered in front of the net. The Anaheim Ducks prospect slammed it home before Bonello even realized where the puck was for the 2-1 lead.


Tim Gettinger added an empty net goal with 35 seconds left to make the final score, 3-1.


Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:


  1. Brendan Bonello (SAG) – 34 saves
  2. Matthew Villalta (SSM) – W, 27 saves
  3. Jack Kopacka (SSM) – GWG


Affordable season ticket packages and flex plans for the 15th anniversary season of Saginaw Spirit hockey are on sale now! For more information on tickets, visit or call (989) 497-7747.


Stay current with the latest from your Spirit by logging on to Follow the Spirit all season long on Facebook (, Twitter (@SpiritHockey), Instagram (@saginawspirit), and Youtube (SaginawSpirit)


More News
WATCH: 2018 Saginaw Spirit Over-Age Farewell Video
2 days ago
Saginaw Spirit set to face Soo Greyhounds in Round 1 Matchup
2 days ago
Spirit, Spits battle down to the wire in final game of the regular season
4 days ago
Spirit take Knights to overtime after third period rally, fall 4-3 in overtime
5 days ago
Game Preview: Spirit honor OA's Cormier, Crawford, Kohn on Fan Appreciation Night presented by Express Stop Food Stores
5 days ago
Ryan Stepien scores in 8-1 loss to Greyhounds
1 week ago