Spirit quick-strike offense leads to 5-3 win over Greyhounds
Saturday, November 10, 2018
Saginaw, Michigan – The Saginaw Spirit scored three times in a 44-second span during the first period Saturday to hold on to a 5-3 win over the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at The Dow Event Center.
Coming away with six points in a span of four consecutive home games, the Spirit now have two wins against their OHL West Division rival, sitting in fourth place in the Western Conference standings with 10 wins and 22 points.
Veteran right-winger Cole Coskey wasted little time to notch his 50th career goal. Brady Gilmour laid a perfect pass to Bode Wilde, who’s big slap shot was redirected into the net by the Zion, Illinois native.
As his family watched close by in the stands, Coskey upped his scoring to 21 points with nine goals and 12 assists, tied for first alongside forward Nicholas Porco in goals and second in points behind overage forward Albert Michnac.
Wilde, who returned from injury to record an assist in Friday’s 5-1 win against the Mississauga Steelheads, has earned a point in back-to-back contests after being out of action since October 20.
Porco, from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, made it 3-0 with eight minutes remaining in the opening frame, capitalizing on a turnover when the Greyhounds passed the puck back into its own zone. Left alone in front of the crease, Porco’s one-handed effort gave the second-year standout 16 points on the season.
16 seconds after Coskey’s record-setting goal saw 17-year-old forward Aidan Prueter score his third goal this season for the two-goal Spirit lead after collecting the pass at center ice from Red Wings prospect Reilly Webb on a breakaway.
Greyhounds goaltender Ethan Taylor, who appeared in his third consecutive start after starter Matthew Villalta went down to injury last week, was pulled to start the second period for former Kingston Frontenac Mario Peccia.
Taylor had seven saves before Peccia made his first relief appearance since being acquired via trade on Friday. Peccia finished out the game, stopping 19 shots and allowing one goal.
2018 Arizona Coyotes fourth-round draft pick Ivan Prosvetov, who let in just one goal on 31 shots by Mississauga, collected 32 saves for his eighth win in 13 games to have his goals-against average (GAA) and save percentage (SAV%) currently stand at 3.20 and .875, respectively.
Prosvetov’s ability to adapt and quick thinking had the crowd buzzing at the midway point of Sault Ste. Marie’s second power play in the second period. Despite losing his stick, the 19-year-old from Russia positioned his body in front of Mac Hollowell for the impressive glove save.
Saginaw made it a four-goal difference with six minutes into the second as D.J. Busdeker finished off a 2-on-1 advantage 12 seconds following the Spirit’s second power play for his fifth goal of the year.
One-timing the pass from team captain and Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux, Busdeker now has points in all three games against the Greyhounds while Giroux gets his eighth assist this season for a plus-minus rating of +8.
The Soo broke the home team’s scoring run with 1:18 left in the second from right-winger Cole MacKay’s seventh goal this season for 21 points. The Greyhounds had 15 shots on goal before the second intermission after shooting just five times in the first 20 minutes.
Coming into Saturday with the league’s third best penalty kill with an 84.2 percent success rate, the Spirit didn’t allow a goal in the first three Sault Ste. Marie man-up opportunities, including twice in the second and late in the first period.
But 1:22 after overage defenseman Reagan O’Grady was issued his second minor penalty of the night, Coyotes prospect and team captain Barrett Hayton cut the Soo deficit to two for his 21st point with 8:26 into the final frame.
The London Knights (5) are the only OHL club to allow fewer power play goals than Saginaw (10) this season, who also finished one-for-two on the man-power advantage.
The Soo cut the Spirit lead to one goal at 11:08 in the third period following Philadelphia Flyers prospect Morgan Frost’s 13th goal this season that snuck in-between Prosvetov and the post that made it 4-3.
But once the Greyhounds pulled Peccia in the final two minutes, a turnover inside Sault Ste. Marie’s zone by Frost led to the empty net goal by Busdeker with 1:14 remaining for the Dexter, Michigan, native’s first multi-goal game of the season and back-to-back first star honors.
Applebee’s 3 Stars of the Game:
1. D.J. Busdeker (SAG) – 2G,
2. Duncan Penman (SAG) – +2
3. Ivan Prosvetov (SAG) – 32 Saves, W
The Spirit travel across the Detroit River Sunday for what will be the start of a three-game road trip, playing their second regular season game at the WFCU Centre against West Division rival Windsor Spitfires.
They will next visit the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint to resume the Coors Light I-75 Divide Series Wednesday against the Firebirds. Saginaw has won the two previous meetings, including a 6-0 home win on October 20.
To purchase your tickets for all Saginaw home games, call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.