Sunday, October 14, 2018
Saginaw, Michigan – The Saginaw Spirit welcomed the Kitchener Rangers to The Dow Event Center Sunday evening for their second meeting of the season. Saginaw won the first game of the season series in a 4-3 overtime thriller in Kitchener. Kitchener came into the game first in the Western Conference with 12 points, one ahead of Saginaw with 11 points.
The Spirit struck first early in the first period when Nicholas Porco scored his team-leading eighth goal of the season. Porco entered the Kitchener zone on a three-on-one and took a wrist shot from the left faceoff circle over the right pad of Kitchener’s Luke Richardson. Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux and Detroit Red Wings’ prospect Reilly Webb combined for the two assists on the play.
After roughing minors to Saginaw’s Aidan Prueter and Kitchener’s Michael Vukojevic, Kitchener’s Joseph Garreffa tied the game 1-1. Garreffa’s goal came off of a rebound generated by a Rickard Hugg backhand, beating the diving Ivan Prosvetov. The first period ended with a 1-1 tie.
In the second period, the Spirit controlled the pace of play, outshooting the Rangers 12-7. Early in the period, Detroit Red Wings’ draft pick Brady Gilmour nearly gave Saginaw the lead on the power play, taking a shot from the top of the slot that Richardson deflected with his blocker.
After Aidan Prueter hooking penalty, Saginaw’s Duncan Penman may have saved a goal after he sacrificed his body with a sliding shot block of a Kitchener shot.
With less than a minute left in the second period, Damien Giroux nearly scored Saginaw’s second goal of the night, after taking a nice pass from Nicholas Porco in between the faceoff circle and took a quick shot that almost squeaked through the goaltender’s body. Saginaw and Kitchener ended the second period with a 1-1 tie.
The physicality picked up throughout the third period with both teams landing hard hits. Saginaw’s Max Grondin landed a big open ice hit on a Kitchener Ranger with his head down in the offensive end.
Arizona Coyotes draft pick Ivan Prosvetov kept the game tied early in the third after a big save off a Riley Damiani shot. Damiani took a pass and unloaded a shot from the top of the faceoff circle that Prosvetov robbed point blank with his blocker. The Russian goaltender allowed just one goal on 23 shots.
Saginaw received the game-winning goal from captain Damien Giroux with less than five minutes remaining in the third period. New York Islanders’ prospect Bode Wilde took a pass from Albert Michnac at center ice and dangled around two defenders to the back of the net and sent a pass to Giroux in the slot. The goal gave Giroux six on the year, and his fourth goal in his last two games.
With the 2-1 win, Saginaw takes sole possession of first place in the West Division with 13 points. Saginaw outshot Kitchener 27-24 in the winning effort
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
1. Ivan Prosvetov – SAG – 23 Saves, W
2. Damien Giroux – SAG – G, A
3. Joseph Garreffa – KIT – G
The Saginaw Spirit travels to Ontario on Wednesday, October 17, to play the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds for the second time this season. In the first meeting, the Spirit defeated the Greyhounds 5-2 on opening night. Fans can listen to all Wednesday’s action on FM Talk and Sports 100.5 and on fmtalk1005.com with Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on the call.
Saginaw’s next home game will be on Friday, October 19 against the Barrie Colts for Country Night with Steve Armstrong and the 25 Cent Beer Band. To purchase tickets to this or any Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.