The Saginaw Spirit suffered a 4-2 loss to the Erie Otters Friday night at The Dow Event Center of Saginaw. Josh Shalla and Vince Trocheck tallied the Spirit markers in the effort, and Tadeas Galansky garned first star honors with 48 saves. The Spirit have clinched the OHL West Division title with 85 points and a record of 40-22-3-2; the team wraps up the regular season with a game against the Windsor Spitfires Saturday, March 19 at 7:11 PM.
The Spirit and the Otters battled through a goalless first period but the action picked up in the second when Erie’s Phil Varone fired in a shot :35 seconds in to put the Otters on the scoreboard. The assists were courtesy center Brett Thompson and winger Anthony Luciani. Towards the end of the second the Spirit rebounded when winger Josh Shalla notched his 47th goal of the season at 15:46 from centers Mathew Sisca and Ivan Telegin to tie up the match 1-1.
The Spirit grabbed the lead early in the third period with a short-handed goal scored by center Vincent Trocheck, courtesy assists from winger Garret Ross and defenseman Brad Walch at 3:25 in the frame. Otters center Greg McKegg contributed a power play goal at 11:16 in the second period from center Mike Cazzola and Varone, then moments later Erie took the lead when Varone scored at 17:41 from Thompson and Luciani. The Spirit mounted a comeback attempt in an effort to tie up the game, pulling goalie Tadeas Galansky in the final seconds for an extra attacker. The effort proved in vain however, when McKegg scored an empty netter courtesy assists of Cazzola and winger Shawn Szydlowski at 19:33 in the period.
Spirit goalie Tadeas Galansky notched 48 saves on 51 shots. Otter netminder Ramis Sadikov posted 38 saves on 40.
Visit www.ontariohockeyleague.com for an official game sheet.
Catch the Playoff Spirit! The 2011 OHL Playoffs are around the corner, with the Spirit playoff series starting at home Friday, March 25 at 7:11 PM. The Spirit playoffs are presented by the Great Lakes Bay Region Convention and Visitors Bureau. Get your tickets – Ticket prices for the first round will remain the same as the regular season! Stay tuned to SaginawSpirit.com for more information regarding playoff tickets as well as potential game dates and opponents.