Spirit win four of five games during homestand; beat IceDogs 3-1

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SAGINAW, Mich. – On Sunday night, the Saginaw Spirit (14-10-3-0) hosted the Niagara IceDogs (13-9-3-2) for the annual Teddy Bear Toss Game presented by Jayden Lamb Memorial Foundation. During the game 850 teddy bears were thrown onto the ice after the first Spirit goal scored by Damien Giroux. Saginaw took the lead early in the first period that was then answered by a Niagara goal, tying the game 1-1 at the end of 20 minutes of play. Saginaw scored the game-winning goal with a top shelf effort by Duncan Penman to secure a 2-1 lead. Cole Coskey insured two points for the Spirit after scoring an empty-net goal to finish the game in a 3-1 decision.
During the first period, Saginaw found themselves collecting stuffed animals off the ice early. At 1:04 of the period, Mason Kohn passes to the top of the goal crease to Blade Jenkins, whose shot was then cleaned up by Damien Giroux for the first Spirit goal of the game. During this goal, hundreds of teddy bears were thrown onto the ice and then donated to charity. Saginaw maintained control of the puck and picked up two turnovers from the IceDogs, leading to numerous rushes deflected away by goaltender Colton Incze. With 12 minutes remaining, Johnny Corneil pivoted and shot on Evan Cormier, and while the puck is in midair Maple Leafs prospect Keaton Middleton batted the puck making the save. Niagara took control of the puck during a Saginaw penalty kill at 10:53. A slapshot from the point by former Spirit winger, Kirill Maksimov would tie the game 1-1. The Spirit outshot the IceDogs 14-11 in the first period.
The second period reinforced the physicality of the game. With both teams coming off of a victory the previous night, they were fired up for another win. Matching penalties resulted in 4-on-4 play midway through the period where Duncan Penman was able to snipe a rebound off the glass for a top shelf goal. Penman’s goal gave Saginaw their second lead of the game, 2-1. With two minutes left in the period, Niagara headed to a power play. Daniel Signer rushed down the ice on a delayed Spirit penalty. A goal was waved off after review due to offside. Signer, who had two goals in the previous game against Flint, was unable to tie the game for the ‘Dogs. The Spirit took a one-goal lead into the locker room after 40 minutes of play.
The third period began with a 5-on-3 advantage for Niagara. Saginaw took control of the puck and was determined to come out of this game victorious. With 1:30 remaining Niagara called a timeout to strategize how to tie the game, but was unsuccessful. Incze was pulled from the net to add another player on the ice for the IceDogs. The puck was cleared out of the Spirit zone by Marcus Crawford and picked up by Mason Kohn off the boards. A pass to Cole Coskey ended with an empty-net goal with one second remaining on the clock. Though the IceDogs outshot the Spirit 38-28, the game ended in a 3-2 decision and another home victory for Saginaw.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the game:
1.         Damien Giroux (SAG) – 1G (Teddy Bear Toss Goal), +3
2.         Evan Cormier (SAG) – 37 saves
3.         Duncan Penman (SAG) – 1G, +2
The Saginaw Spirit (14-10-3-0, 31 points, 4th West Division) will take on the Hamilton Bulldogs (16-6-3-3, 38 points, 1st East Division) at The FirstOntario Centre. The puck drops at 4:00 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.comfor more information. YOUR Region. YOUR team. YOU’RE invited.
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