Preview: Spirit, Sting meet for the first time since miraculous comeback
SARNIA, Ontario. – The scene has changed but the Saginaw Spirit (15-11-3-0, 33 points, 4th West Division) hope to keep the magic alive against the No. 3 ranked Sarnia Sting (24-6-2-0, 50 points, 2nd West Division) in the first meeting between the two teams since the Spirit fought back from a six-goal deficit with less than 22 minutes remaining in the game to eventually win 7-6 in overtime. Tonight’s game begins at 7:05 p.m. at the Progressive Auto Sales Arena in Sarnia, Ontario.
The Spirit split the weekend last week, falling in Hamilton on Saturday, 7-1, but returning to form on Sunday evening in a 3-1 victory over Oshawa.
Rookie Aidan Prueter scored the lone goal for the Spirit Saturday.
Head Coach Troy Smith remarked after the game, “I didn’t see a lot from our side. I didn’t think we were very good from front to back, start to finish. We showed some complacency.”
With the disappointment from Saturday fresh in their minds, the Spirit returned to battle Sunday evening in Oshawa. This Spirit team wasted little time asserting themselves and seizing the lead. At 5:49, Jake Goldowski scored his 1st OHL goal by deflecting a Marcus Crawford shot. The next goal was not scored until the third period, however the Spirit thought they had scored in the second period, but the goal was waved off due to goaltender interference. Oshawa tied the game at 5:06 when Kenny Huether, younger brother of former Spirit draft pick Ray Huether, found himself alone in front of the net. His 13th goal of the season brought the Oshawa crowd alive. The native of nearby Ajax, Ontario Marcus Crawford, who already had a point in the game, would score the game-winning goal at 10:06 on a shot that bounced in off of an Oshawa defender. Cole Coskey added an empty net goal for his team-leading 16th of the season to salt away the win. Evan Cormier made 33 saves picking up his 12th win of the season.
The Sarnia Sting fell victim to the Soo Greyhounds last Wednesday night, but won both home dates this past weekend against Erie and Peterborough.
The Otters had a 3-2 lead on the Sting after one period of play Friday night, but got blitzed in the final two period, being outscored 5-1 and falling to the Sting, 7-4.
The Sting thoroughly controlled the play Saturday against the Petes, but Peterborough goaltender Dylan Wells made 48 saves. Amazingly, it wasn’t enough. The Sting knocked off the Petes 3-1.
This is the 93rd all-time regular season meeting between the Spirit and the Sting. Saginaw holds the advantage at 44-40-5-3, but are 18-22-4-2 all-time on the road against the Sting.
Fans can follow the action tonight by joining #SpiritNation at the Saginaw Buffalo Wild Wings location at 2690 Tittabawassee road and listen to Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on 100.5 WSGW-FM and online at www.fmtalk1005.com.
Season Tickets for the 2017-18 season are on sale NOW! Reserve your seat at The Dow Event Center by calling (989) 497-7747 or visit www.saginawspirit.com for more information. YOUR Region. YOUR team. YOU’RE invited.
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