Spirit fall to Otters in preseason action shortened due to ice conditions

Erie, Penn – The Saginaw Spirit played their first and only preseason game against the Erie Otters Sunday at Erie, Pennsylvania, and lost 4-1 after only two periods of play. This game marked the first time that the first overall pick Michael Misa and second overall pick Malcom Spence will play against each other in the Ontario Hockey League (OHL).

Erie struck first with a bouncing puck from Taeo Artichuk four minutes in. Artyom Kulakov passed the puck to teammate Ty Henry who’s shot from the point was deflected by Artichuk and then off of a Saginaw player behind Andrew Oke. When the Spirit player tired to fish the puck away from the goalie line, it bounced off of Oke’s pad and in the net.

The Otters would score again nine minutes later by Malcom Spence. Spence would get the puck and score to Oke’s right after Erie center Colby Saganiuk shot the puck for a rebound. Spence, with an open side of the cage, would score his second goal of the pre-season.

Erie would extend their lead to three after a goal from Kaleb Smith. Bruce McDonald would gain control of the puck behind the net and pass the puck in front for the Smith score at 9:53.

The first period was dominated by the Otters, as they would lead 3-0 and shots, with 10 compared to 8 for Saginaw.

Saginaw’s goalie Andrew Oke made 14 saves on 18 shots. Erie’s goalie Jacob Gibbins made his second start in the OHL with 13 saves on 13 shots. Erie would swap goalies halfway through the game with Marshall Nichols making four saves on five shots. Saginaw would change goalies as well as Brett Fullerton would start the third but would not play due to the game being canceled for poor ice conditions.

13 minutes into the second period, Saginaw would score their first and only goal of the contest from Luke McNamara (2). Zayne Parekh made a great play on the defense as he faked the shot to the right and passed to McNamara for the goal.

Erie would respond at 16:07 of the second period with a goal from veteran Elias Cohen. He would put the puck into the net after his teammate Carey Terrance shoot and hit the crossbar for a rebound that went directly to Cohen for the goal.

At the end of the second period, there were 25 penalties committed by both teams combined. Of those penalties, 7 were misconducts.

Following the conclusion of the second period, the game called to be complete after ice issues prohibited the two teams from participating in the third period. With the game called, the final score ended up being 4-1 in favor of the Otters.

The Spirit’s next game is against the Soo Greyhounds Friday, September 9th at Midland Civic Center in Midland, Mich. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. and tickets are available at the Saginaw Spirit Store located at 6321 State Street or via phone at (989) 497-7747.

Saginaw will play a preseason game at the Dow Event Center on Friday, September 23rd against the Flint Firebirds. Puck drops at 7:05 p.m., and tickets for that game are available at the Dow Event Center Box Office, the Saginaw Spirit Store, or online through Ticketmaster.

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