Spirit Weekly Preview presented by Yeo & Yeo: March 15th, 17th, and 18th

Photo – Eric Young

Only six games remain in the regular season for the Saginaw Spirit, evenly split between the Dow Event Center and the road. This week, the Spirit make their final stops in Windsor and Kitchener before returning home to host the Hamilton Bulldogs on Trauma Night. Last week, they dispatched the Erie Otters and Soo Greyhounds by 4-1 and 3-1 scores.

Quick Hits:

  • Saginaw Spirit (34-24-2-2)
  • 3rd in the West Division
  • 4th in the Western Conference
  • Last week: 2-0-0-0
  • Team Stats

Spirit by the Numbers

  • In his last nine games, Tristan Lennox has six wins, a 2.07 GAA, .932 SV%, and one shutout.
  • Hunter Haight is now tied for the team lead in scoring with 54 points (19G, 35A). Since his arrival in early December, he has 16 goals, 29 assists, and 45 points in 39 games with the Spirit.
  • The Spirit have been without rookie Michael Misa since early February, but have pulled together for a 9-6-0-2 record and 20 of 34 possible points (.588).
  • Since a 2-0 win in Peterborough two weeks ago, the Spirit have points in five straight games.
  • Four of Saginaw’s six remaining games (WSR, KIT, HAM, SOO, GUE, OS) are against potential first-round playoff opponents. This spring, Saginaw Spirit Playoff Hockey is powered by Consumers Energy and brought to you by Dow.

Game by Game

Wednesday, March 15th @ Windsor

The Windsor Spitfires have proven to be a tough customer for Saginaw this season. The Spirit have gone 2-5-0-0 against their opponent from the other side of the Detroit River, and this is their final opportunity to see them in the regular season. Captain Matthew Maggio became the first player in the OHL this season to hit 100 points just last week. He currently sits at 103 (49G, 54A), leads the OHL in points and goals, and is on an eight-game scoring streak (7G-8A-15P). Spirit center Matyas Sapovaliv has had success of his own against the Spitfires this season, with three goals and four assists in seven contests.

Friday, March 17th @ Kitchener

Kitchener has just recently cooled off from a five-game winning streak, but still remain one of the more dangerous opponents in the Western Conference. The Rangers hold a 2-1 series lead over the Spirit after hanging onto a 4-3 win in Saginaw on January 15th. Team captain and LA Kings second-round draft pick Francesco Pinelli leads his team in scoring (37G-47A-84P), and has been the catalyst behind their recent surge in the standings. Beginning with a five-point night against the Soo, Pinelli has 19 points (7G-12A) in his last 12 games played. The Rangers currently sit in the Western Conference’s 8th slot, but only five points behind the 5th place Flint Firebirds.

Saturday, March 18th vs. Hamilton – Ascension St. Mary’s Trauma Night

The final Eastern Conference opponent of Saginaw’s season will be the Hamilton Bulldogs. To this point, they are 12-6-0-1 against the East. Trade deadline acquisitions Nick Lardis (36G-27A-63P) and Sahil Panwar (28G-35A-63P) lead the Bulldogs in scoring this season. They were acquired from Peterborough on January 7th and were not members of the team the last time Hamilton met Saginaw. Five unanswered goals and a 26-save performance from Andrew Oke sent the Spirit past the Bulldogs on November 19th, for their sixth of what was to be a nine-game winning streak.

The game will also be Trauma Night in conjunction with healthcare professionals from Ascension St. Mary’s. Fans can learn about head safety and treatment of numerous traumas in the Budweiser Red Room prior to game time, and children can be fitted for bike helmets. The Spirit will also be giving away 2023 team posters, and fans can get autographs from their favorite Spirit players after the game.

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