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Spirit outmatched in 8-0 Game Two result

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Game 3: Monday, March 26 at Dow Event Center. Tickets: (989)-497-7747, www.saginawspirit.com

Sault Ste. Marie, ON – On Sunday afternoon, the Saginaw Spirit (0-2) traveled to the Soo for game two of a first round matchup against the CHL’s top-ranked Greyhounds (2-0). The Greyhounds established early momentum when Morgan Frost scored two successive goals with a tally from Jack Kopacka not far behind, creating a 3-0 Greyhounds lead early on. Boris Katchouk pushed the Soo’s lead to four goals before the first period’s conclusion. In the middle frame, Katchouk seized his 2nd goal of the game and the Hounds led 5-0 entering the final period. The Greyhounds continued to pour it on with three more goals en route to an 8-0 victory and a two-game lead in round one of the OHL Playoffs.

In the first period, Frost finished off a well-placed feed from Taylor Raddysh to establish a 1-0 lead just 4:41 into the game. Frost nabbed his 2nd goal of the frame less than two minutes later with a heavy wrist shot from between the faceoff circles. With 7:28 expired in the period, forward Kopacka, a Michigan native, extended the Greyhounds’ lead to three goals by burying the rebound off a Rasmus Sandin shot. After that, Katchouk potted a net-side redirection with 25 seconds left in the period, a powerplay goal, to create a four-goal disadvantage for the Spirit. Three of the Hounds four goals in the first period came on the powerplay to boot. The Greyhounds outshot the Spirit 21-2 in the opening frame.

In the second period, the Spirit came out re-energized and recorded 10 shots in the frame as Soo netminder Matthew Villalta was tested several times. The Greyhounds, though, continued to play possession-oriented hockey and added another goal to their lead courtesy of Katchouk. On the play, Katchouk headed toward Evan Cormier with a flanker on his wing. Katchouk hit the brakes and sniped the top right corner of the net for a 5-0 lead. The Greyhounds outshot the Spirit 16-10 in the middle period.

In the final frame, the Greyhounds regained their stride and added three goals to their total. To start, Colorado Avalanche prospect Conor Timmins placed a slap shot stick-side to seize a six-goal edge with just 13 seconds expired in the frame. After that, neither team would light the lamp until the midway point in the period where Keeghan Howdeshell went behind the Spirit net and lifted the puck onto his stick for a lacrosse-style wrap around goal. Quickly after that tally, Barrett Hayton scored a between-the-legs goal, pushing the Greyhounds lead to eight at that point. In the period, the Spirit outshot the Greyhounds 9-7.

Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game

1. Morgan Frost (SSM) – 2G, A, +1

2. Jack Kopacka (SSM) – 2G, +2

3. Keeghan Howdeshell (SSM) – G, +1

The Saginaw Spirit (0-2) will continue their series against the Soo Greyhounds tomorrow in Saginaw at The Dow Event Center for Game 3. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m.

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