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Four-goal 2nd period sinks Spirit against Sting

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Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit (17-7-2-0) were defeated 6-3 by the Sarnia Sting (13-8-3-2) Saturday, December 3, at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.

The game opened with several scoring chances for each team, but both goaltenders stood strong through the first ten minutes.

Calem Mangone had a great scoring opportunity 15 minutes into the first period when he received the puck but was gloved down by Surzycia to keep the Spirit scoreless.

Roberto Mancini was called for hooking at 17:04 in the opening period, giving Sarnia their first powerplay of the game. Saginaw showed off their league leading penalty kill by denying Sarnia a goal on the chance.

Shortly after the penalty expired, Saginaw struck first with seven seconds left in the first frame. Matyas Sapovaliv won the faceoff to the left of Surzycia and sent a pass to Hunter Haight. The Minnesota Wild prospect took a shot but hit the post, causing the puck to land behind the goaltender. Zayne Parekh saw this and seized the chance by potting his seventh goal of the season.

After 20 minutes of play, Sarnia led in shots, 12-9 and Saginaw led the game, 1-0.

The second period started with the Spirit on the penalty kill after Joey Willis took a hooking call at 3:44. The Sting capitalized on the chance with a game-tying goal at 4:05 courtesy of Sasha Pastujov. The Anaheim Ducks prospect potted his 16th goal on the left side of Lennox after Marcus Limpar-Lantz passed to him from the right side of the zone. Sandis Vilmanis earned an assist on the play.

Saginaw got a chance to use their powerplay unit after Nolan Dillingham committed a slashing penalty at 7:00 in the second frame. The Sting killed the penalty successfully.

Sarnia took the lead at 11:08 in the middle frame after Lukas Fischer passed to Sandis Vilmanis who split several Saginaw skaters and beat Lennox with a wrist shot on the left side to secure his ninth goal of the season.

Roberto Mancini took a tripping penalty at 11:25 in the second frame, giving the Sting a man-advantage. Much like the game-tying goal, Sarnia scored again on the powerplay at 12:47 to extend the lead. Angus MacDonnell collected a rebound and scored on the backhand after Ty Voit took a shot at Lennox from the point. Porter Martone earned an assist on the play.

The Sting added to their lead after Ty Voit skated past multiple Spirit players and scored a wrist shot from the high slot at 15:33 in the middle period. Sasha Pastujov earned an assist by giving the puck to Voit in the neutral zone to start the play.

The Spirit got a man-advantage after Lukas Fischer was called for tripping at 15:58 in the second frame. Despite increased pressure and several shots, Saginaw was unable to convert on the chance.

The second period ended with Sarnia leading 4-1 and shots tied at 23 apiece.

The third period opened with a penalty shot from Marko Sikic at 5:39. Lennox was able to stop the skater and hold Sarnia to a three-goal lead.

Shortly after the penalty shot, Saginaw cut the lead to two with a goal at 6:28. Matyas Sapovaliv poked the puck along the boards and behind the net to Joey Willis on the left. From there, Willis passed out front to a waiting Dean Loukus who rifled a shot past Surzycia for his eighth goal of the season.

With time running out, Saginaw called Lennox to the bench to get an extra attacker. It was Sarnia that converted the chance with an empty net goal at 15:54 in the final period. Zach Filak earned his fourth goal of the season and Sasha Pastujov earned his third point of the game with an assist on the play.

Ethan Ritchie was called for a delay of game at 16:47 in the final frame, giving Saginaw a powerplay chance. The Spirit converted the opportunity at 17:32 after Pavel Mintyukov set-up Matyas Sapovaliv with a one-timer chance for his 11th goal of the season. Hunter Haight earned his second assist of the game on the play.

After the increased momentum, the Spirit pulled Lennox again and Sarnia scored another empty netter at 19:13 in the third frame. Sasha Pastujov scored his second of the game and Ty Voit earned an assist on the play.

The game ended with Sarnia winning 6-3 and leading shots, 35-28. With the loss, the Spirit fall to 17-7-2-0 on the season.

Saginaw’s next game is Tuesday, December 6, against the Erie Otters at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania. Puck drop is at 7:00 p.m.

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