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Coskey, Goldowski score in 5-2 defeat to the Sting

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SAGINAW, Mich. – On Saturday night, the Saginaw Spirit (21-14-3-0) hosted the Sarnia Sting (27-12-1-0) for a matchup between divisional foes. Saginaw entered tonight’s game light on the defensive side with two forwards suited up as makeshift blue liners. Despite this obstacle, Saginaw hung tight and battled to a 2-2 tie after two periods thanks to scoring efforts from Jake Goldowski and Cole Coskey. The Sting pulled away in the third period with three goals to situate the final score as a 5-2 Sting win.

During the opening period, both teams demonstrated effective penalty kills as the period reached a close without a goal for either side. While the Spirit shut down one Sarnia powerplay, the Sting stymied two Saginaw man advantages. On the first Spirit powerplay, Caleb Everett fired a backdoor pass to Damien Giroux below the right faceoff circle that created a brief scramble from Sting goaltender Justin Fazio, though no goal was produced. Later in the period, Blade Jenkins cut off a Fazio attempt to clear the puck from behind the net, and the deflection trickled into the Sting crease. Fazio eventually smothered the puck but not before several Spirit forwards could have a poke at it. Saginaw outshot Sarnia 9-3 in the first period.

In the second period, Saginaw and Sarnia made up in goals what the first period lacked. The Sting found the scoreboard first with 10:11 remaining in the period when left wing Jordan Ernst found a streaking Franco Sproviero, who sent a one-timer into the Spirit net. After that, the Spirit responded in kind when Goldowski tipped in a D.J. Busdeker shot from top of the left circle, marking his 2nd goal of his Saginaw career. Free Agent overage player Marcus Crawford also recorded an assist on the play. Wasting little time, Sarnia struck less than two minutes laterwhen Hugo Leufvenius took away the puck at the blue line, directed a pass to Ryan McGregor and celebrated when McGregor lodged the Sting’s 2nd goal of the game. Keeping suit with what was a back-and-forth period, Saginaw tied the contest up when Coskey gained the offensive zone and scored an unassisted goal with a wrister that beat Fazio glove-side. Saginaw narrowly edged out Sarnia in the shot department with a 15-14 advantage in the middle frame.

For the third period, Sarnia registered the goal-ahead goal with 14:06 left in the game when Ryan McGregor sent a puck that deflected off of a Spirit player into the Saginaw net, putting the Spirit at a 3-2 disadvantage. The Sting added to their margin of victory when Connor Schlichting traveled with the puck deep into the Spirit defensive zone and quickly switched from backhand to forehand on his goal-scoring shot with 6:51 remaining in the game. Ernst later added an empty net goal with 3:05 left in the contest to give the Sting a 5-2 victory. Sarnia recorded 19 shots in the final period to Saginaw’s 10 shots.

Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game

1. Ryan McGregor (SAR) – 2G, +2

2. Jordan Ernst (SAR) – G, A, +3

3. Jake Goldowski (SAG) – G

The Saginaw Spirit (21-14-3-0, 43 points, 4th in West Division) will travel to Sault Ste. Marie for a contest against the Greyhounds (33-3-2-1, 69 points, 1st in West Division) on Wednesday, January 10th, 2018 at the Essar Centre.

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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