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Game 5 Preview: Spirit hope to capture Wayne Gretzky Trophy on home ice

Saginaw, MI – The Western Conference Finals returns to The Dow Event Center Friday, April 26 for Game Five between the Saginaw Spirit and the Guelph Storm. The puck drops for the first elimination game in the series at 7:05 p.m. (ET). The Spirit lead the Western Conference Championship Series, 3-1 after they defeated the Storm on the road in Game Four.

Saginaw can capture the Wayne Gretzky Trophy for the first time in team-history with a victory. With a win tonight, the Spirit will go on to face the top-seeded Ottawa 67’s in the Rogers Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Championship Series.

Tickets for Game Five of the Western Conference Championship series are on sale via saginawspirit.com, ticketmaster.com, the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street in Saginaw, and The Dow Event Center Box Office.

Watch live on OHLLive.com or listen live on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and fmtalk1005.com with the voice of the Saginaw Spirit Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on the call.  “Countdown to Faceoff” with host Domenic Papa starts 15 minutes prior to puck drop.

16-year old goaltender Tristan Lennox has taken over as the Saginaw Spirit starting goaltender  in the absence of suspended Arizona Coyotes draft pick Ivan Prosvetov.  In Game four,  Lennox denied 36 of the 37 shots taken by the Storm for his second career OHL playoff victory.

The rookie net-minder boasts a goal against average of 2.40 and a save percentage of .933 in four post-season appearances.

The Spirit scored their second powerplay goal of the series in Game four, after going just one for their first eight attempts in the series. Saginaw was one-for-three on the man-power advantage. Owen Tippett scored the second goal of Game four just as a power play expired.

Tippett, the 2017 Florida Panthers 10th overall pick, has goals in the last two games for the Spirit after the right-winger was held without a goal in five-straight games.  The Peterborough, Ontario native leads all Saginaw Spirit players in both goals (11) and points (22) this postseason. His 22 points are fifth all-time in Spirit Playoff scoring history.

2018 Saginaw Spirit fifth overall pick Cole Perfetti notched two goals in Game four.  The rookie forward has points in all four of the Western Conference Finals games.

The Whitby, Ontario native is second among OHL rookies with 14 points and first with eight goals in the Playoffs.  Perfetti leads this year’s postseason with four game-winning goals.

Overage defenseman Reagan O’Grady leads all OHL players this postseason with a plus/minus rating of plus-20.  The Lindsay, Ontario native has contributed goals in each of the last two games.

Detroit Red Wings draft pick Brady Gilmour leads the Spirit with 14 assists in the playoffs.  The Saginaw Spirit alternate captain contributed an assist on the Tippett game-winner in Wednesday’s victory.

Guelph has found a way to solve Saginaw’s almost perfect penalty kill, scoring five times on the power play this series. Coming into the Western Conference Final, the Spirit were 36-of-38 on the penalty kill.

Montreal Canadiens signee Nick Suzuki extended his point streak to nine games with an assist on the Storms’ lone goal in Game Four.  The London, Ontario native leads the OHL with 25 points in this season’s playoffs.  The former Vegas Golden Knights first-round pick was acquired by Montreal.

Los Angeles Kings defensive prospect Sean Durzi also contributed an assist in Game Four to extend his point streak to nine games.  The former Toronto Maple Leafs second-round selection is first among remaining OHL defensemen with 17 points this post-season.

Guelph Storm captain Isaac Ratcliffe was held scoreless in Game Four for the first time in six games.  The 2017 Philadelphia Flyers second round pick had goals in the first three games of the Western Conference Finals.

Edmonton Oilers third round pick Dmitri Samorukov tallied Guelph’s third period goal in Game Four.  The Russian defenseman has points in the last two games of the third round series.

Guelph has 11 players with rights owned by NHL teams, forwards Cam Hillis (Montreal Canadiens), Nick Suzuki (Montreal Canadiens-signed), MacKenzie Entwistle (Chicago Blackhawks-signed), Alexey Toropchenko (St. Louis Blues-signed), Liam Hawel (Dallas Stars), Nate Schnarr (Arizona Coyotes-signed), Isaac Ratcliffe (Philadelphia Flyers-signed), defensemen Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers-signed), Sean Durzi (Los Angeles Kings), Markus Phillips (Los Angeles Kings), and Fedor Gordeev (Toronto Maple Leafs.)

The Spirit also boasts eight players drafted by NHL clubs, forwards Brady Gilmour (Detroit Red Wings), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers-signed), Ryan McLeod (Edmonton Oilers), Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild), defensemen Reilly Webb (Detroit Red Wings), Bode Wilde (New York Islanders-signed), and goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes).

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