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Game Day Preview: Spirit, Greyhounds open home-and-home series Friday

Viewing Party: Buffalo Wild Wings, 2690 Tittabawassee Rd, Saginaw, MI.

Radio: 100.5 Newsradio WSGW | www.wsgw.com | iHeart Radio App

Social: #SAGvsSOO | #SoarWithUs

Sault Ste. Marie, ON. – The Saginaw Spirit (25-12-2-2 54 pts.) begin a home-and-home series with the West Division rival Soo Greyhounds (20-19-2-0 42 pts.) on the road for the fifth of eight regular season meetings on Friday, January 17.  Puck drop from the GFL Memorial Gardens from Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario starts at 7:07 p.m.

The backend of the home-and-home series with the Greyhounds takes place at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan on Saturday, January 18.  The Spirit have been dominant against West Division foes this season with a 14-5-0-0 record, including a 3-1 record this season against the Soo Greyhounds in four games.

Fans can catch the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.wsgw.com with Art Lewis and the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call.  “Countdown to Face-off” with host Charley Porter begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.

To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.

The Saginaw Spirit notched their second consecutive victory Saturday, January 11 with a 6-5 decision over the London Knights.

New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey led the Saginaw Spirit offensively in the victory over the Knights with his second career OHL hat trick.  The Spirit alternate captain has goals in five consecutive games with 10 goals and three assists during that stretch.  In the game against the Knights, Coskey passed Spirit alum Jack Combs for third in team-history with 97 goals.

‘A’ rated 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti extended his career-high point streak to 11 games with a goal and two assists in the victory over London on Saturday.  The Saginaw Spirit leading scorer has eight goals and 16 assists for 24 points during the eleven-game streak.  Perfetti took part in the annual Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects game Thursday night in Hamilton, Ontario, where the forward impressed NHL scouts with a goal and assist en route to a Team White victory.  The Whitby, Ontario native Perfetti was ranked fourth among North American Skaters in the NHL Central Scouting mid-season rankings.

Carolina Hurricanes signee Ryan Suzuki has three assists in two games since the center was acquired by the Spirit prior to the trade deadline.  Suzuki, the 2019 28th overall pick, assisted on Coskey’s third goal against his hometown London Knights.

Grand Blanc, Michigan native Dalton Duhart gave the Spirit a late 5-4 lead in the third period against the Knights on Saturday.  The former London Knights third round draft pick has seven goals and nine assists since the Spirit acquired the forward earlier this season.

Captain Damien Giroux notched what proved to be the game-winning goal with an empty-net tally against London.  The Minnesota Wild prospect leads the Spirit this season with 27 goals in just 40 games.  Giroux has points in seven of his last nine games played for the Saginaw Spirit.

The Soo Greyhounds are coming off a 7-1 defeat to the London Knights on Sunday, January 12.  Before the loss to the Knights, the Greyhounds were victorious in the previous two games.

Soo Greyhounds center Joe Carroll notched the lone Soo goal in defeat to the Knights Sunday evening.  In 29 games this season for the Greyhounds, Carroll has nine goals and eight assists for 17 points.

Left-winger Zach Trott leads the Greyhounds with 40 points this season in 39 games.  The Honeywood, Ontario native has a goal and two assists in four games this season against the Saginaw Spirit.

Earlier in the week, Greyhounds head coach John Dean confirmed to The Sault Star, that 2019 first round CHL Import Pick, Nick Malik make his OHL debut in net Friday against the Spirit. The 6-foot-2, 175-pound goaltender was born in Raleigh, North Carolina while his father, Marek, was a member of the Carolina Hurricanes. Nick’s brother Zach also played two seasons in the Ontario Hockey League from 2017-19 for the Sudbury Wolves and North Bay Battalion.

2020 NHL Draft prospects Rory Kerins and Cole MacKay leads the Soo this season with 20 goals in 41 games.

‘B’ rated prospect Ryan O’Rourke joined Saginaw’s Perfetti on Thursday evening at the Kubota CHL/NHL Top Prospects game.  The Soo defenseman was ranked 32nd among North American skaters in the NHL Central Scouting mid-term rankings.

The Soo Greyhounds have two players with rights owned by NHL teams in center Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes) and defenseman Jacob LeGuerrier (Montreal Canadiens).

Soo has five players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list in ‘B’ prospects Rory Kerins, Tanner Dickenson, Ryan O’Rourke, and Jaromir Pytlik, along with ‘C’ prospect Cole MacKay.

The Saginaw Spirit have a total of five players on their roster with NHL ties. Ryan Suzuki (Carolina Hurricanes-signed), Blade Jenkins (NY Islanders), Cole Coskey (NY Islanders), Mason Millman (Philadelphia), and Damien Giroux (Minnesota).

Saginaw has two players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list, including ‘A’ prospect Cole PerfettiIlya Solovyov is listed as a ‘C’ prospect.

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