By Matthew Wesolowski
Flint, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit (24-15-2-0) face off against their in-state rival the Flint Firebirds (19-18-2-1) with a chance to win the Coors I75 Divide Cup Saturday, January 21, at the Dort Financial Center.
Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.
The Spirit currently hold a 4-1 lead in the eight-game season series against the Firebirds. A victory tonight would clinch Saginaw’s 4th I75 Divide Cup since the trophy’s inception in 2015.
Television: CHL TV, CHL App, OHL Action Pak Ch. 467
Radio: 100.5 FM WSGW, WSGW.com
Saginaw fell 6-3 to the Soo Greyhounds Wednesday, January 18, at the GFL Memorial Gardens. James Guo earned his first assist as a Spirit and Dean Loukus earned two points in the loss.
Box Score & Highlights
Flint defeated the same Greyhounds 5-1 Friday, January 20, at the GFL Memorial Gardens. Nolan Dann scored two goals and Nathan Day made 26 saves on 27 shots.
Box Score & Highlights
Saginaw and Flint have played five of their eight scheduled meetings so far this season, with the Spirit claiming four victories. Most recently, the Michigan rivals closed out 2022 with a home-and-home that saw Saginaw take all four points.
The first game was a 7-4 win for Saginaw in Flint. Three Spirit skaters earned two points, including Zayne Parekh who scored the game winning goal. Tristan Lennox made 19 saves on 23 shots to help secure the win for Saginaw. Coulson Pitre and Gavin Hayes both scored two goals for Flint, while Will Cranley made 29 saves on 34 shots.
The next day, the Spirit won 5-3 in Saginaw. Hunter Haight scored two goals and two assists, including the game winner. Former Spirit defenseman Pavel Mintyukov earned three assists, and Tristan Lennox stopped 28 of 31 Firebird shots. Tyler Deline earned two assists and Nathan Day stopped 28 of 32 for Flint. Red Wings prospect Amadeus Lombardi added a goal and an assist as well.
Players to Watch:
After being acquired by Saginaw at the trade deadline, James Guo earned his first point on his new team Wednesday against the Greyhounds. Minnesota Wild prospect Hunter Haight has two goals and four assists for six points in his last four games. Dean Loukus has had particular success against Flint this season, with eight points (5G, 3A) in five games so far. 2022 OHL first overall draft pick Michael Misa’s 20 goals, 25 assists, and 45 points are the most for all Saginaw skaters. Tristan Lennox leads Spirit goaltenders, posting a 3.17 goals against average (GAA) and an .884 save percentage (SV%).
Winnipeg Jets prospect Dmitry Kuzmin is on a seven-game point streak for Flint. In that span, he has three goals and seven assists. The defenseman also leads the Firebirds in assists with 30. Detroit Red Wings prospect Amadeus Lombardi’s 51 points are the most for Flint Skaters. Gavin Hayes has the most goals for his club with 24. He also has four points in his last three games. Will Cranley’s 3.67 GAA and .891 SV% are the best for Firebird goaltenders.
Saginaw has three (3) players drafted into the National Hockey League (NHL), including Matyas Sapovaliv (Vegas), Tristan Lennox (New York Islanders), and Hunter Haight (Minnesota).
Flint has six (6) NHL prospects, including Dmitry Kuzmin (Winnipeg), Gavin Hayes (Chicago), Will Cranley (St. Louis), Braeden Kressler (Toronto, FA), Amadeus Lombardi (Detroit), and Artem Guryev (San Jose).