Spirit fall just short in 3-2 decision to Rangers
Former Ranger Mason Kohn scores; Coskey picks up 50th point
Kitchener, ON. – On Sunday afternoon, the Saginaw Spirit (29-28-8-0) traveled to Kitchener for the club’s third game in as many days, this time facing off against the Rangers (43-20-2-0) for a matinee contest.
In the first period, Saginaw quickly quelled its offensive woes from a game prior when Cole Coskey sent a shot from the slot directly into the Rangers net, creating a 1-0 lead that the Spirit held for the duration of the frame. In the second period, Kitchener responded with two rapid goals from Austin McEneny and Adam Mascherin respectively, totaling just 64 seconds between the two scores. In the final frame, the Rangers jumped to a 3-1 lead when Joe Garreffa sent a wrist shot cross-ice and into the Spirit net. Former Ranger Mason Kohn brought the Spirit to within one with a kneeling goal, and a late Spirit charge made for an eventful finish but Kitchener squeaked out a 3-2 victory.
In the opening period, both clubs demonstrated a physical brand of hockey as Saginaw assumed a 1-0 lead. D.J. Busdeker has the team’s first quality opportunity with a deflection that passed Rangers goaltender Luke Richardson but traveled wide of the net. After 4:40, Cole Coskey met a loose puck with both velocity and accuracy as he registered Saginaw’s 1st goal of the game, his 27th tally of the year.
Towards the end of the frame, Rangers forward Adam Mascherin caused a takeaway as his penalty expires and raced toward the Spirit net with Givani Smith flanked on his wing. Mascherin dished to Smith but the Detroit Red Wings prospect missed the net, and the Spirit coasted to intermission with a 1-0 edge. The Spirit outshot the Rangers 9-8 in the opening period.
In the middle frame, momentum swung in the home team’s direction as Kitchener potted two goals in quick succession to claim a 2-1 lead. With 5:53 expired in the second period, Rangers forward Austin McEneny skated into the Spirit zone and fired a wrist shot bar-down on Cameron Lamour’s stick side.
Just 1:04 after tying the game, Kitchener gained a one-goal advantage when Adam Mascherin scored an unassisted goal with another bar-down shot but this time choosing Lamour’s glove side. This goal was Mascherin’s 40th goal of the 2017-18 season. The Rangers were able to do much of their damage thanks to a 13-6 shot advantage in the second period.
In the third stanza, Kitchener claimed the largest lead of the game when Joseph Garreffa raced in, gaining the offensive zone in the process, and put the puck over Lamour’s glove-side shoulder 3:32 into the frame.
The Spirit showed resiliency and started to turn the tide with a puck-cycling powerplay in the middle of the period. Shortly thereafter, Mason Kohn converted on a different powerplay, marking his 19th goal of the season and bringing Saginaw to within one goal. On the play, Kohn followed up on a Spirit shot with a kneeling backhand effort, resulting in a mixture of cheers and boos as the former Kitchener Ranger lit the lamp. Hayden Davis and Jake Goldowski were credited with assists on the play.
The Spirit pulled their goaltender with less than three minutes remaining in a last ditch effort to tie the game and even drew a penalty on the Rangers in the final minutes but it was not enough to overcome Kitchener in the Sunday matinee game. The Spirit outshot the Rangers 19-4 in the final period.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game
- Adam Mascherin (KIT) – G, A, +1
- Michael Vukojevic (KIT) – 2 shots
- Mason Kohn (SAG) – G
The Saginaw Spirit (29-28-8-0, 66 points, 4th in West Division) will take on the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (53-7-2-3, 111 points, 1st in West Division) on Wednesday, March 14th, 2018 at the Essar Centre. The puck drops at 7:07 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 visit www.saginawspirit.com for more information. YOUR Region. YOUR team. YOU’RE invited.
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