PREVIEW: Spirit, Spitfires meet on McLaren Mental Health Night
Saturday, February 10, 2018
TV: CW46 WBSF Saginaw (Tape Delay, Sunday), Your TV Windsor, OHL Action Pak
Radio: 100.5 WSGW-FM (Saginaw), www.fmtalk1005.com
Web Stream: OHL Live
SAGINAW, Michigan – On Saturday night, the Saginaw Spirit (25-19-7-0, 57 points, 3rd in West Division) square off against the Windsor Spitfires (23-24-2-2, 50 points, 4thin West Division) at The Dow Event Center for the sixth of eight meetings this season. With tonight being McLaren Mental Health Awareness Night, medical professionals will be on site and ready to help. The Spirit will also pay tribute to #16 Terry Trafford and those who have lost their lives do to mental illness during a moment of silence in the pregame ceremony. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
After playing last night in Guelph, tonight’s game will be a quick turnaround for the Spirit. On Friday night, Saginaw managed to force overtime and earn a point in a game in which the club conceded two shorthanded goals. For the Spirit, Cole Coskey tallied his team-leading 24th goal of the season on a second period powerplay. The Spirit now have a powerplay goal in each of the last six games.
Later in the frame, Camaryn Baber recorded his first OHL goal with a slick backhand move on a breakaway with an assist from fellow rookie Nicholas Porco. Later in the third period, Porco recorded a powerplay goal of his own to force overtime as he slammed a rebound into the Storm net. Guelph eventually prevailed in the overtime frame as an Isaac Ratcliffe wrist shot won the game for the Storm.
As for Windsor, the Spitfires faced the Storm on Thursday, one day before the Spirit had a chance to tangle with Guelph. In that contest, Plymouth, Michigan native Luke Boka seized an early lead for Windsor with his first period goal. The Spitfires’ lead was short-lived, however, as the Storm rallied with three unanswered goals in just over 11 minutes. Windsor forwards Chris Playfair and Jake Smith both contributed goals to briefly tie the game, but Guelph’s Alexey Toropchenko put the Storm on top for good just over two minutes later, securing a 4-3 Guelph victory.
Saginaw enters this contest with points in each of its last four games, a stretch that included three narrow overtime losses. As for Windsor, the Spitfires have lost five consecutive games since dropping a 6-5 battle to the Spirit at The Dow Event Center on Saturday, January 27th. In all, the Spitfires are currently riding a seven-game losing streak.
In terms of the season series, Saginaw currently maintains a 3-2 edge over its Western Division rival. Saginaw is 1-1 on home ice against Windsor this year, and the two clubs will square off two more times this season.
On the Windsor side of the ledger, the Spitfires boast two 40-point scorers in Cole Purboo (18 goals, 22 assists) and overager Jake Smith (15 goals and 25 assists). Conversely, the Spirit have a slight edge with three 40-point skaters as Coskey, Marcus Crawford and Mason Kohn have each eclipsed the mark. Damien Giroux closely follows that trio with 36 points this season.
Tonight is the 100th regular season all-time between the Spirit and the Spitfires. The Spirit are 40-46-7-4 with two ties against the Spits, who began playing each other eight times during the 2015-16 season. The Spirit are 25-15-6-2 with one tie at The Dow Event Center.