Spirit erase six-goal deficit against No. 1 Sting; win 7-6 in overtime

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SAGINAW, Mich. On Saturday night, the Saginaw Spirit (13-10-3-0) secured two points against the Sarnia Sting (21-5-2-0) by a final score of 7-6 in overtime in front of 4,377 fans at The Dow Event Center on Guns and Hoses Night, which is a tribute to the hard-working policeman and fire fighters in the area. In the first period, Sarnia had the goal sirens blaring on the way to a four-goal period, three of which came from center Drake Rymsha. In the second frame, the Sting created two more goals before Saginaw right wing D.J. Busdeker and defenseman Duncan Penman helped to keep the Spirit in the game with goals of their own. Saginaw mounted a monumental comeback with a four-goal period of their own in the third period as Blade Jenkins, Ryan Stepien, Brady Gilmour and Damien Giroux all added goals in the final regulation frame, sending the contest to overtime. In the extra period, Cole Coskey scored the game-winner on a breakaway to put the Spirit victory on ice, 7-6.

During the first period, the Sarnia Sting raced out to a fast start as left wing Anthony Salinitri capitalized on a puck coughed up deep in the Saginaw defensive zone for the opening goal 32 seconds into the game. Midway through the period, Sting right wing Jordan Kyrou sent a cross-ice pass along the blue line to a streaking Ryshma, who promptly ripped a wrist shot from the dot into the top shelf of the Spirit net. With a 2-0 lead, Sarnia continued on the gas pedal when Rymsha, a prospect in the Los Angeles Kings’ system, found an opening in the bottom left corner of the Saginaw net. The Spirit pulled starting goaltender Evan Cormier after this goal. Cormier made six saves on nine Sarnia shots. Rymsha, however, was not finished as he recorded a natural hat trick with his third goal coming with 1:31 left in the frame. Sarnia outshot Saginaw by a 16-9 margin in the first period.

For the second frame, Sarnia picked up right where they left off in the first period. At the 2:43 mark, Sting left wing Hugo Leufvenius led a 2-on-1 rush towards the Spirit net and snuck the puck past Cameron Lamour and into the net stick-side. Sarnia tacked on another goal in the second period when an odd-man rush down the ice’s left side predicated a deft pass to centerman Franco Sproviero, who then dispatched the puck into the twine for the Sting’s 6th goal of the contest coming with under three minutes remaining in the period. Saginaw responded just overone minute later when Spirit captain Keaton Middleton fired a shot from the point, one which right wing D.J. Busdeker tipped into the net for his 5th goal of the 2017-18 campaign. Then Spirit then potted another tally when defenseman Duncan Penman sent a rocket into the Sarnia net with 18 seconds remaining in the frame. Saginaw maintained a 20-10 shot lead in the second period.

In the third period, Saginaw began to creep back when Jenkins snapped a wrister into the upper corner of the Sting net to make the score 6-3. With 5:43 remaining in the period, rookie Ryan Stepien earned a goal as the puck bounced off Sting goaltender Justin Fazio’s shoulder and into the net. Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour followed that up with solid positioning as he buried a loose puck in front of the Sarnia crease, bringing the Spirit within one goal. With 3:30 remaining in regulation, Giroux sent a rocket of a slapshot into the Sting net with authority, knotting the game at six goals apiece and necessitating an overtime frame to settle the score.

Once in overtime, the Spirit carried over its momentum from regulation when Coskey led a rush down the ice, used a toe drag to dodge a defender and flipped the puck into the net for the golden goal, securing a 7-6 overtime victory for the home Spirit. The Spirit outshot the Sting 3-1 in overtime, and 41-32 for the hockey game.

Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game

1. Cole Coskey (SAG) – GWG, A, +2

2. Drake Rymsha (SAR) – 3G, +2

3. Blade Jenkins (SAG) – G, 2A, +1

The Saginaw Spirit (13-10-3-0, 29 points, 4th in West Division) will host the Niagara Ice Dogs (13-8-3-2, 31 points, 2nd in Central Division) at The Dow Event Center on Sunday, December 3rd for Teddy Bear Toss night presented by Jayden Lamb Memorial Foundation.

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 for more information. YOUR Region. YOUR team. YOU’RE invited.

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