Preview: Spirit host Rangers on first Covenant Kids Day of the season
TV: WNEM TV5 + Saginaw (10/21, 8:00 p.m.), Rogers TV Kitchener, OHL Action Pak
Radio: 100.5 WSGW-FM, www.fmtalk1005.com
Web Stream: OHL Live
Thanks to a record setting performance from first-year captain Damien Giroux in Saturday’s 6-2 win over the North Bay Batalion, the Saginaw Spirit (5-2-1-0; 11 pts.) take their four-game winning streak back home tonight for a rematch against the Kitchener Rangers (5-1-2-0; 12 points).
The second game played between the two clubs in little over a week’s span, the Spirit look to clinch their third win of the season at the Dow Event Center. Puck drop is set for 5:30 p.m.
Saginaw scored six unanswered goals for the come from behind win against the Battalion, highlighted by Giroux’s three score outing in the third period. Taking the leadership reigns left behind by Keaton Middleton to start the season, the 2018 Minnesota Wild fifth-round draft pick picked up his first career hat trick en route to a 6-2 drubbing of the Battalion.
Now, second on the team in goals scored through eight games behind second-year forward Nicholas Porco (eight), Giroux nabbed both the game tying and go-ahead goal in a span of five minutes.
2018 New York Islanders draft selections Bode Wilde, Blake Jenkins and former Mississauga Steelhead Albert Michnac would also score in the win. Michnac is currently tied with right-winger Cole Coskey for most points (13) among Spirit players.
Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov pocketed his third win of the season after getting his fourth consecutive start in net. Recording 18 saves and pitching two shutout periods, the Arizona Coyotes prospect has a save percentage of .875 and a goals against average of 3.19.
The Spirit have received at least one point in the previous five games, which began with a 6-5 home overtime loss to the Guelph Storm on Sept. 29. Coming off a three-game road trip last week against the Flint Firebirds, Erie Otters and Rangers, Saginaw combined for 14 goals, including six on its in-state rival to open the Coors Light I-75 Divide series.
Michnac scored the game-winning goal in overtime to hand Kitchener its first loss of the season on Oct. 5. The Rangers entered the contest seeded 10th in the CHL’s Top-10 Rankings. Since then, the OHL Western Conference standing leaders have earned seven points through four games.
Running away with a decisive 6-3 win over the Firebirds on Saturday, Kitchener has two players with 12 points in Rickard Hugg and Joseph Garreffa, totaling 10 goals and 14 assists between the two forwards. Both of whom have a plus-minus of +5.
Goaltender Luke Richardson’s only overtime loss this season was against the Spirit, sustaining a goals against average of 2.32 and a save percentage of .926. Backup Lucas Pfiel would get the win against Flint, stopping 28-of-31 shots faced.
The Kitchener Rangers have two players holding ties to the NHL in Riley Damiani (Dallas) and Alexey Lipanov (Tampa Bay). Four players on their roster (Arber Xhekaj, Carter Tresoor, Mike Petizian, and Michael Vukojevic) are eligible for the 2019 NHL Draft in June.
The Saginaw Spirit have six players on their roster with NHL ties in Brady Gilmour (Detroit), Reilly Webb (Detroit), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Bode Wilde (New York Islanders), Damien Giorux (Minnesota), and Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona). The Spirit have two players on the NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list for the 2019 Draft including Nicholas Porco and Caleb Everett.
Don’t forget to stick around after the game for our first postgame skate with the players of the season. Please remember to bring your skates as no attendees without skates will be permitted on the ice.
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.