New Jersey Devils prospect Evan Cormier posts 38 saves in 2-1 win over No. 3 Sarnia
SARNIA, Ontario. – On Wednesday night, the Saginaw Spirit (16-11-3-0) traveled to Sarnia, Ontario for a road tilt against the Sting (24-7-2-0). In a battle between two of the OHL’s top six netminders in terms of save percentage, Spirit goalkeeper Evan Cormier prevailed in a 2-1 affair on the road against Sarnia. Hayden Davis produced a first period goal shortly into the frame, and Brady Gilmour added the game-winning goal two periods later with a dazzling effort. Two goals were enough to sink the Sting as Saginaw took home two points in the road contest.
In the first period, Sarnia defenseman Kelton Hatcher took an early penalty and sent the Spirit to the powerplay. As a result, the Spirit consistently fired at Sting goaltender Justin Fazio throughout the man advantage. Despite failing to convert, the Spirit built momentum and Hayden Davis slapped the puck past Fazio to send Saginaw in front 1-0. Saginaw outshot Sarnia 14-10 in the first period.
During the middle frame, Saginaw opened on the penalty kill and Sarnia right wing Sean Josling ripped a slap shot into the Spirit net to knot the score at one goal apiece. Saginaw had one powerplay chance in the period when Josling was booked for interference but was unable to best Fazio. Both teams recorded 13 shots on goal during the second period.
In the final period, Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour exhibited smooth puck handling as he wound his way deep into Sting territory before tapping the puck around Fazio for the go-ahead goal. With a 2-1 lead in hand, Saginaw as able to clinch the victory thanks in large part to a series of successful special teams shifts. Aidan Prueter first produced a backhanded opportunity on a rush while killing a penalty, then Mason Kohn put forth a gritty shift with a man deficit later on. The Spirit also stifled the Sting for the final 1:34 when Fazio was pulled in lieu of an extra attacker. Goaltender Evan Cormier shut the door on Sarnia with the extra man on the ice and propelled the Spirit to their second road victory in a row. Sarnia outshot Saginaw 16-10 in the third period.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game
1. Evan Cormier (SAG) – W, 38 saves
2. Justin Fazio (SAR) – L, 35 saves
3. Sean Josling (SAR) – G
The Saginaw Spirit (16-11-3-0, 35 points, 4th in West Division) will face the Flint Firebirds (9-19-3-0, 21 points, 5th in West Division) at the Dort Federal Credit Union Event Center on Friday, December 15th at 7:00 p.m.