November 16, 2018
Kitchener, Ontario – The Saginaw Spirit conclude their three-game road trip with one win following Friday’s 5-2 loss to the Kitchener Rangers at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium.
Taking a 4-2 decision this past Wednesday over the Flint Firebirds in Game 3 of the Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup, Saginaw remains in fifth place in the OHL Western Conference standings at 24 points after picking up its second loss since November 4.
Dallas Stars prospect Riley Damiani’s ninth goal of the season had the Rangers ahead at 10:41 in the first period, one-of-four Kitchener players to record over 20-plus points through 21 games. The 2018 fifth-round draft choice had two assists Wednesday against the Erie Otters.
Just four seconds after the Spirit killed their 56th penalty this season, Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Alexey Lipanov scored his second goal in three games with 2:01 remaining in the first for the two-goal Kitchener lead. The Rangers finished with 15 shots on goal through 20 minutes.
Saginaw went on the board with 6:02 into the second period as 18-year-old forward Danny Katic cut the deficit to one, notching his first goal and point of the year, with assists by defensemen Mason Millman and Reagan O’Grady.
Millman, who received second-star honors in the Firebirds win, has recorded four assists in the last two games and nine total this season while O’Grady gets his first point since November 9.
The Rangers regained their two-goal advantage at 11:34 on the 11th goal scored this season by second-year forward Rickard Hugg, also receiving his second assist for 28 total points off Damiani’s second goal of the game three minutes later for the 4-1 Kitchener lead.
Trailing 34-15 in shots on goal at the second intermission, Saginaw went on the penalty kill for 2:34 in the latter half of the second when D.J. Busdeker was issued a five-minute misconduct. The alternate captain has six goals and eight assists for 14 points this season.
Damiani would complete his first career OHL hat trick for the third unanswered scored by Kitchener at 14:34 in the final frame. It’s the second time this week in which the 18-year-old has garnered three points or more in a single-game.
A backhanded goal right in front of the crease by Saginaw 16-year-old forward Aidan Prueter for his ninth point this year would be the final goal of the night. Millman and New York Islanders prospect Blade Jenkins were credited with the assists.
Jenkins has collected eight points since November 3 in Saginaw’s shootout win over the Guelph Storm for 18 overall, recently scoring two goals against the Firebirds.
Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov, who was drafted in the fourth-round by the Arizona Coyotes in June, made 33 saves for a season-high and picked up just his second loss through 16 appearances in net.
The Spirit finished with double-digit shots on goal (17) in the third for 32 total and won 35 face-offs.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
1. Riley Damiani (KIT) – 3G, A, +3
2. Rickard Hugg (KIT) – G, 2A, +3
3. Nick McHugh (KIT) – 2A, +3
The Spirit make their return to The Dow Event Center on Saturday, November 17, hosting the Windsor Spitfires with puck drop set for 7:05 p.m. Saginaw dropped a 7-1 decision to its West Division foe last Sunday on the road from the WFCU Centre in the second game of the season series.
The first 1,000 fans will receive a Damien Giroux player poster presented by Jets Pizza and Giroux will hold an autograph session following the game. The Garber Automotive FanBoni will also make its debut during the opening ceremonial puck drop.
To purchase your tickets for all Saginaw home games, call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.