Crawford nets OT winner; Spirit keep winning streak alive in front of 3,638 at The Dow
SAGINAW, Mich. – On Friday night, the Saginaw Spirit (21-13-3-0) hosted the Erie Otters (12-20-3-0) at The Dow Event Center for Health Alliance Plan night where the first 1,000 fans went home with a Spirit winter knit hat. The scoreboard remained at 0-0 after the first 20 minutes of play. The Erie Otters scored two goals in the second period and held a 2-0 lead going into the third frame. The Spirit took control of the puck in the third and after just two minutes Brady Gilmour had tied the score 2-2, registering two goals. A goal from Max Grondin gave the Spirit their first lead of the game at 5:35 in the third. With 1:07 left in the game Ivan Lodnia tied the game 3-3 taking the game into overtime. It was Marcus Crawford who led the Spirit to their fourth consecutive win with his game-winning OT goal.
In the first frame of play, both the Otters and the Spirit saw one power play opportunity. Saginaw was successful during their first penalty kill of the game as they kept the puck out of their zone and allowed only one shot on Spirit goaltender Evan Cormier. Mason Kohn took the puck and was leading an Erie defenseman by a few strides when a hooking call was made after Kohn fired a shot. With three minutes remaining an Erie turnover gave Aidan Prueter the chance to pass across the ice to Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Keaton Middleton whose shot was denied by Erie goaltender Anand Oberoi. The game remained scoreless after 20 minutes of play with Erie outshooting the Saginaw 10-8.
Halfway through the second period Erie defenseman Ryan Martin made his way past the Spirit defense and shot lower stick-side of Cormier scoring Erie’s first goal of the game at 11:06. Later in the period, the puck was picked up off the boards by Kyle Maksimovich who then backhanded the puck past Cormier making the tally 2-0. The Spirit outshot the Otters with 13 shots compared to Erie’s 12 shots on net in the second period.
Saginaw came back from the locker room ready to get back in the hockey game. Exactly one minute into the third period, Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour got the puck from Mason Kohn on a falling backhanded pass to score the Spirit’s first goal of the game. Just 1:03 later, Gilmour would tie the game 2-2. Oberoi had his eye on Blade Jenkins at the bottom of the circle and did not react fast enough to Jenkins pass to Gilmour in front of the net. This goal marked Gilmour’s 9th of the season. Max Grondin proved he would not back down after being pushed down in front of the net. A pass from Jake Goldowski set up Grondin for the perfect angle to sink a slap shot giving the Spirit their first lead of the game. With one minute remaining, Oberoi left the net to give Erie an extra player. With a one-man advantage Erie tied the game with a goal from Minnesota Wild prospect Ivan Lodnia. The game was tied 3-3 after regulation play and headed to overtime.
During overtime each team saw their fair share of scoring opportunities, but it was Marcus Crawford who scored the game-winning goal with 1:31 remaining in the extra period. The Spirit came out victorious in a 4-3 OT decision. This win marked Saginaw’s fourth consecutive win.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the game:
1. Brady Gilmour (SAG) – 2G, +2
2. Marcus Crawford (SAG) – OT-GWG
3. Kyle Maksimovich (ER) – G
The Saginaw Spirit (21-13-3-0, 43 points, T-3rd West Division) will take on the Sarnia Sting (26-12-2-0, 54 points, 2nd in the West Division) at The Dow Event Center. This will be the fourth meeting between the Sting and the Spirit. The Spirit have won the previous three games in the 2017-2018 season. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.
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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