Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – On Sunday adfternoon, the Saginaw Spirit wrapped up a home-and-home exhibition weekend with the Soo Greyhounds. The Spirit were looking to build off of an exciting 4-3 third period comeback win on Saturday night at The Dow Event Center. Today marked the homecoming for Sault Ste. Marie natives Nicholas Porco and Camaryn Baber.
The Spirit and Hounds played a pretty tightly contested first period until the Spirit received a 2:00 power play when Joe Carroll of the Greyhounds tripped Cole Coskey at 15:58. Instead it was Sault Ste. Marie that scored goals five seconds apart while shorthanded to stun the Spirit late in the period. Jack Kopacka found his way to a loose puck on the right wing boards and fired a wrister past the right pad of Brendan Bonello. In a flash, Morgan Frost scored his second goal of the preseason, setup by Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Boris Katchouk. The Hounds outshot the Spirit in the period, 8-7, and used their shorthanded prowess to take a 2-0 lead over the Spirit into the locker room after the first period.
The Spirit opened the second period on a high note when Sault native Nicholas Porco went end-to-end and scored :48 into the period. Porco’s goal got the Spirit on the board for a second consecutive night but the Hounds were quick to respond. At 4:59 on the power play, Zach Trott found the back of the net to reinforce the Hounds two-goal advantage. After some impressive board work from Danny Katic, Camaryn Baber, and Nate Boomhower, it was Boomhower who emerged from the left wing boards and beat Matthew Villalta cleanly over his right shoulder to bring the Spirit back within one goal at 3-2. The Spirit led in shots 19-13 after two periods, but trailed 3-2.
The Spirit had the confidence of their third period comeback win the night before fresh in their minds as they entered the third period Sunday. At 2:33, Cole Coskey tied the game for the Spirit with his second goal of the preseason. The Spirit took a penalty midway through the third period, but had pressure in the Soo zone. Just as the penalty expired, Keaton Middleton fired a shot from the left point that was deflected in by Sault Ste. Marie native Camaryn Baber, giving the Spirit their first lead of the game and turning a third period deficit into a lead in back-to-back games against the Soo. However this game would have a different ending. With Matthew Villalta pulled late in the third, Zach Trott cashed in on a goalmouth scramble in front of Cameron Lamour for his second goal of the game. Regulation ended in a 4-4 tie.
In an eight round shootout, the only goal was scored by Robert Calisti of the Soo Greyhounds giving them a 5-4 shootout win.
The Spirit continue preseason action on Fri. Sept. 15th against the Flint Firebirds. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. at The Dow Event Center.
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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