Camaryn Baber scores first OHL goal in 4-3 overtime loss to Guelph

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GUELPH, Ontario – On Friday night, the Saginaw Spirit (25-19-7-0, 57 points, 3rd in West Division) traveled to Guelph through heavy snowfall for a contest against the aptly-named Storm. In what was a special teams battle throughout the affair, Guelph seized an early lead with its first of two shorthanded goals on the night. Entering the second period with a 1-0 lead, the Storm doubled its advantage with a Dmitri Samorukov powerplay goal 5:04 into the frame. Saginaw responded when Cole Coskey corralled a Spirit faceoff win and ripped the pick into the net for a powerplay goal. Less than two and a half minutes later, Camaryn Baber exploded onto a breakaway and secured his first OHL goal with a slick backhanded move, tying the game at two goals apiece. Entering the third period tied at two, Guelph’s second shorthanded goal came when Cedric Ralph ran into Spirit netminder Evan Cormier. The goal stood and Cormier remained in the game until a loose skate blade forced the goaltender from his post for five minutes. When Cormier returned, a Spirit powerplay led to Nicholas Porco’s 4th goal of the season as the rookie slammed home a rebound attempt. Both teams ended regulation tied at three goals. In the extra period, Isaac Ratcliffe found space in the slot and registered the game-winning goal for the Storm at 4:32 in the period.

The Saginaw Spirit trail the Guelph Storm 1-0 after 20 minutes of play. In the first frame, the Spirit constructed two power play opportunities and generated several shots, but Saginaw could not convert on the man advantage. Instead, the Spirit allowed a shorthanded goal when the puck took an unfortunate carom off the skate of a Spirit defender, and Cam Hillis scored to put the Storm up 1-0. Earlier in the stanza, a quick turnover in the Storm zone yielded a close-range scoring chance for Danny Katic but the young forward was stymied. The Spirit outshot the Storm 13-8 in the opening period.

During the second stanza, the Spirit fought back with a set of back-to-back goals and tied the game at two goals apiece. Early on, though, Guelph potted a powerplay goal when Edmonton Oilers’ prospect Dmitri Samorukov cracked his slapshot off the posts and into the Spirit net, creating a two-goal lead for the home club. Saginaw then took advantage of the powerplay when Cole Coskey scored off a successful Spirit draw with 8:42 remaining in the frame. The Spirit then tied the game less than three minutes later when Camaryn Baber secured his first OHL goal with a slick backhanded move on the breakaway. The Spirit have outshot the Storm 24-16 after two periods.

In the third period, the Storm reclaimed another lead when Cedric Ralph scored Guelph’s 2nd shorthanded goal of the night, running into Spirit netminder Evan Cormier in the process. Later in the period, Cormier briefly left the game with a loose blade on his skate, paving the way for Cameron Lamour to serve five minutes of duty tonight. Upon Cormier’s return, the Spirit took to the powerplay and capitalized on the man advantage when Nicholas Porco deposited the rebound of a Spirit shot, his 4th goal of the season. Both teams earned a point with the game gridlocked 3-3 after 60 minutes. The Spirit outshot the Storm 34-33 after three periods.

Once in overtime, both squads fashioned multiple rushes as is the nature of three-on-three hockey. Porco applied quality pressure early on, but Guelph forward Isaac Ratcliffe found just enough space in the slot to force his 30th goal of the season into the Spirit net.

Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game
1. Cedric Ralph (GUE) – G
2. Cole Coskey (SAG) – G, A
3. Dmitri Samorukov (GUE) – G, A, +2

The Saginaw Spirit (24-19-7-0, 57 points, 3rd in West Division) host the Windsor Spitfires (23-24-2-2) on Saturday, February 10th, 2018 at The Dow Event Center.

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