SAGINAW, Mich. – On Friday, the Saginaw Spirit kicked off their home and home exhibition weekend against the Flint Firebirds. The Spirit started off the preseason with a home win against the Soo and looked to continue to hold the victory on their home ice. With goals from six different Saginaw players, the Spirit earned a 6-1 victory over the Firebirds.
The Spirit and Firebirds battled between both zones for most of the first period. On the Spirit’s only penalty kill, Cameron Lamour was found on the ground with multiple men in his crease. Luckily, a Spirit defenseman found the loose puck and disposed of it. The Spirit earned two power plays throughout the period but it was the second when Cameron Lamour’s breakway save on Ryan Moore brought the fans to their feet in ovation. Despite the Firebirds close calls, the Spirit maintained their stance throughout the first period. Just as the first 20 minutes were coming to a close, Nicholas Porco took a shot on Garrett Forrest but was stopped by the blocker less than a minute before the buzzer sounded. The Spirit outshot the Birds 9-8 but the teams remained scoreless.
Within five minutes of the second period the Spirit came out commanding the ice as they took a two-point advantage over the Firebirds. At 3:01, Danny Katic found the puck at the bottom of the left circle, where he set up Ben Badalamenti for a shot that went just past Forrest’s blocker side and into the net. Only 1:12 later, Ryan Stepien scored top shelf over Forrest’s glove side shoulder. Assisting on the play were Matthew Kreis and Aidan Prueter. Brendan Bonello was placed in net for the second half of the contest. The Spirit continued their offensive onslaught as the minutes were counting downin the second period. D.J. Busdeker scored his first goal of the preseason at 17:47 when he snuck the biscuit past the goaltenders left pad. Kyle Bollers and Aidan Prueter both earned assists on Busdeker’s goal. The Spirit’s fourth goal of the period came faster than the second with only 1:01 separating the team’s goals. Damien Giroux earned his second goal of the preseason and first of the game with help from D.J. Busdeker and Blade Jenkins. The second period concluded with Spirit outweighing the Firebirds 23-19 in shots and leading with a score of 4-0.
In the final 20 minutes, the Spirit maintained their high energy, earning two more goals early on. Kyle Bollers received a pass from Aidan Prueter and sent the puck to the back of the net. Also assisting on the goal at 2:29 was Matthew Kreis. 23 seconds later, Blade Jenkins shot from the hashmarks and put the puck through Garrett Forrest’s five-hole, unassisted. At 11:50, the Firebirds finally got on the board with a goal from Ethan Keppen, Jack Wismer and Hunter Holmes assisted on the tally. Final shots on goal favored the Spirit 37-24 and the Spirit earned the 6-1 victory over the Firebirds.
Three Stars of the Game:
1. Blade Jenkins – G, 2A
2. Aiden Prueter – 3A
3. D.J. Busdeker – G, A
The Spirit will return to The Dow Event Center on Saturday, September 23, 2017. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. for the 2017-2018 home opener.
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 visitwww.saginawspirit.com for more information. YOUR Region. YOUR team. YOU’RE invited.
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