Saginaw, MI – The eighth-annual Hockey for the Homeless Night at The Dow went off without a hitch with a 7-1 Saginaw Spirit victory over the Kingston Frontenacs Saturday evening.
Camaryn Baber with four assists, along with rookies Ethan Cardwell and Tristan Lennox, led the Spirit to their 41st victory of the season.
Cardwell was honored with first-star honors with two first period goals. Lennox, a 2018 second round pick of the Spirit stopped 30 shots for his seventh win of the season.
The Spirit lead the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds by two points for the West Division lead with seven games left in the season.
Overager Albert Michnac opened the scoring for the Spirit just 3:47 into the first period of play. Center Camaryn Baber directed a pass to Michnac near the left face-off dot. The Czech winger snapped a quick shot passed Kingston goaltender Marshall Frappier for his 18th goal of the season.
Rookie Ethan Cardwell notched his second goal of his young career with a perfect wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle. Baber dropped the puck off to the left-winger upon entry into the Kingston zone, Cardwell sniped a wrist shot from the top of the face-off circle that beat the Kingston net-minder.
Saginaw extended the lead to three with Cardwell’s second goal of the game just over four minutes after his first. Baber’s wrist shot from the slot redirected off Cardwell’s skate and found the back of the net. Baber collected his third assist of the period on the play.
Former Saginaw Spirit draft pick Brendan Bonello came into the game for the Frontenacs in relief of Frappier after the third Spirit goal.
The Spirit scored their fourth goal in just over 12 minutes of play on Jake Goldowski’s 12th goal of the season. Jackson, Michigan native Blade Jenkins set up the Saginaw right-winger with a centering pass from the corner. Goldowski took a hard wrist shot past Bonello to give the Spirit a four-goal lead heading into the first intermission.
The Spirit outshot the Frontenacs, 14-10 through the first 20 minutes. Saginaw’s 2018 second round pick Lennox stopped all 10 shots faced in the first period of play.
Saginaw defenseman Reagan O’Grady gave Saginaw a 5-0 lead midway through the second period with an amazing individual effort. The overager dangled around a couple Kingston defenders and scored on a wrap-around for his 10th goal of the season.
2018 New York Islanders 41st overall pick Bode Wilde extended his point streak to five games with an assist on the O’Grady goal. The Plymouth, Michigan native is second among Ontario Hockey League (OHL) defensemen with 65 points this season.
Saginaw captain Damien Giroux collected his 27th goal of the season on a breakaway in the final minute of the second period. Baber slid a pass over to spring the Minnesota Wild prospect on a breakaway, the center roofed a wrist shot over the blocker of the Frontenacs goaltender to give Saginaw a six-goal lead.
The Spirit extended the lead to seven on Wilde’s 18th goal of the year. Dexter, Michigan native D.J. Busdeker dropped a pass off to OHL’s rookie scoring leader Cole Perfetti at the Kingston point. The right-winger sent a saucer pass to Wilde who streaked into the zone. The Spirit defenseman took a quick wrist shot from the right circle that beat Bonello.
Perfetti, a 2018 first round pick of the Spirit, extended his point-streak to six games on the assist. The Whitby, Ontario native has points in 19 of the last 21 games. Perfetti was named the OHL’s rookie of the Month in February after the star right-winger collected 21 points in just 12 games.
Saginaw Spirit alternate captain Busdeker covered on the backend admirably after the injuries to several key Spirit defensemen.
The Frontenacs broke up the Lennox shutout bid with just under 12 minutes remaining in the final frame. Overager Ryan Cranford collected his 17th goal of the season with a wrist shot from the right face-off dot on a two-on-one rush.
Lennox has been excellent in the two meetings against the Frontenacs. The Cambridge, Ontario native goaltender has stopped 50 of 52 shots, allowing just two goals in two games against Kingston.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Ethan Cardwell (SAG) 2G +3
- Camaryn Baber (SAG) 4A +4
- Tristan Lennox (SAG) W, 30 saves
The Saginaw Spirit host the Peterborough Petes Sunday, March 3 for Billet Appreciation Night at The Dow. Puck drop for the team’s second and final meeting of the season is set for 5:30 p.m. Saginaw took down the Petes, 5-4 in Peterborough for the first meeting. There will be a Spirit team poster giveaway item, as well as a Saginaw Spirit team autograph session following the game.
Sunday is also Opioid Awareness Night at The Dow Event Center. There will be a Medication Take Back Event beginning at 4:00 p.m. in the Budweiser Red Room. Fans can bring in expired or unused medications to a safe drop off location for a complimentary upper level ticket voucher.
Watch live on OHLlive.com or listen live on the flagship WSGW 100.5 FM Talk and Sports and fmtalk1005.com with the voice of the Saginaw Spirit Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on the call. “Countdown to Faceoff” with host Domenic Papa starts 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com, or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.