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Preview: Spirit host Spitfires on First Responders Night

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Game Notes: 11-23-19 vs. Windsor

SAGINAW, MI. – The Saginaw Spirit face-off against the Windsor Spitfires for the second time this season Saturday evening. The puck drop is at 7:05 p.m at the Dow Event Center in Saginaw, MI.

This game marks the return of the annual First Responders Night presented by Health Alliance Plan and Mike’s Wrecker Service. As part of the festivities, local Police and Firefighters will play in a charity game at 4PM benefitting the United Way. Immediately following the game, the Spirit will auction off their Military Jerseys they will be wearing tonight to benefit Bay City Elks Lodge #88.

Arrive early to the Budweiser Red Room for the “90-minute power play” featuring $2 domestic beers, $2 hot dogs, and $2 ice cream cups up until puck drop at 7:05 p.m.

Fans can tune into tonight’s game live on 100.5 Newsradio WSGW, www.wsgw.com, and iHeartRadio beginning at 6:50 p.m. with host Charley Porter. The voice of the Spirit, Joey Battaino has the play-by-play coverage at 7:05 p.m.

Don’t forget to catch tonight’s game on “Saginaw Spirit Rewind” Sunday night 6-10 p.m. on WNEM TV 5+ (Antenna: 5.2, Spectrum 199, Xfinity (Flint) 4). At 6 p.m., the Spirit look for their eighth win in a row at home against the Owen Sound Attack. At 8 p.m., Saginaw hosts the West Division-leading Windsor Spitfires.

This past Thursday, the Spirit played the Owen Sound Attack for the first time this season. The Spirit came out on top, 5-4 at The Dow Event Center.

Only 20 seconds into the opening frame, Owen Sound found the back of the net. Sergey Popov passed the puck to LA Kings draft pick Aidan Dudas for a one-timer at the top of the right-wing circle past the glove of Spirit goaltender Tristan Lennox.

A shot from just outside the left circle by Reilly Webb bounced off the pads of Cole Coskey, who directed the puck toward Cole Perfetti. His quick release was thwarted by Guzda, but on the second chance, Perfetti deked past Guzda’s left pad and tucked the puck inside the right post and just across the goal line.

Less than a minute into the second period, a turnover at the Owen Sound blue line allowed Cole Perfetti to score his second goal of the game and ninth goal of the season. A pass from New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey connected with Cole Perfetti for a wrist shot between the hashes that went to the upper corner of the net past Owen Sound goaltender Mack Guzda to break the tie. The Perfetti goal gave him his first multi-goal game this season.

At 9:13 of the second period, Dalton Duhart passed the puck from the top of the left-wing circle to Saginaw, Michigan native Mitchell Smith at the point. His slap shot from the blue line found its way to the back of the net.

2:02 later, CHL Import first-round draft pick Ilya Solovyov had all kinds of room between the circles to either shoot or pass. He elected to pass the puck to Rookie Ethan Cardwell, who tipped it in to advance the Spirit’s lead, 4-1.

At 14:02 of the second frame, Dalton Duhart found the puck at the front of the net and buried it deep for his first goal as a Saginaw Spirit. A dogged forecheck from Camaryn Baber and T-Bone Codd resulted in Duhart finding the puck alone in front of the net. With the puck on edge, he swiped it over the left pad of Guzda for the Spirit fifth straight goal in the game.

Kaleb Pearson skated up from the right-wing circle and got the puck between Tristian Lennox’s pads to close the gap to 5-2 with 5:13 remaining in the second period.

Adam McMaster chipped the puck past Reilly Webb on the left-wing boards and sped past him. He wasted no time at all firing a slap shot over the left shoulder of Tristan Lennox.

Late penalty trouble for Saginaw saw two key members of their defense in the box on an interference penalty to Ilya Solovyov and Reilly Webb, the Attack pulled to within a goal just after the Solovyov penalty had expired. Sergey Popov was set up off to the left of Lennox for a one-time over the goaltender’s glove to make it a one-goal game.

The Spirit survived the last push from Owen Sound to win their third straight game over the Attack and eighth in a row at home over Owen Sound.

The Windsor Spitfires are coming off of a 6-3 win against the Soo Greyhounds on Thursday night.

Cole Purboo deflected a wrist shot from Connor Corcoran from the point to get the Spitfires on the board first with the first goal of the game.

Curtis Douglas found the back of the net two minutes later by tipping in the puck, which was once again shot by Connor Corcoran at the point.

Tyle Angle brought the puck into the Soo zone and shot it from the left-wing circle, which went top shelf past Soo goaltender Bailey Brkin.

Cole Purboo found the back of the net once again before the first period was over to bring the Spitfires up, 4-0.

The Soo got on the board early in the second period. Tye Kartye skated up to the net and wrapped the puck around the Spitfires goaltender Kari Piiroinen, but less than two minutes later the Spitfires once again widened their lead with a goal by Dylan Robinson.

Two goals from the Soo’s Jaden Peca and Robert Calisti brought the game to a two-goal game going into the second intermission.

With just over seven minutes left in regulation, Will Cuylle beat the Soo goaltender top shelf to bring the score to, 6-3.

The Spitfires are 9-0-2-0 in their last 11 contests and have not lost in regulation since Oct. 11. One of those overtime losses came at the hands of the Saginaw Spirit, who stormed back from a 6-3 deficit with just 1:19 to go in the game to tie on a Damien Giroux goal with just one second remaining. Spirit defenseman Reilly Webb would complete the comeback with a goal in overtime to give the Spirit a 7-6 overtime win on Nov. 10.

The Windsor Spitfires have four players with rights owned by NHL teams, forwards Tyler Angle (Columbus Blue Jackets), Egor Afanasyev (Nashville Predators), Curtis Douglas (Dallas Stars) and defenseman Connor Corcoran (Vegas Golden Knights).

The Saginaw Spirit have a total of four players on their roster with NHL ties. Blade Jenkins (NY Islanders), Cole Coskey (NY Islanders), Mason Millman (Philadelphia), and Damien Giroux (Minnesota).

Saginaw has two players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting ‘Players to Watch’ list, including ‘A’ prospect Cole Perfetti. Ilya Solovyov is listed as a ‘C’ prospect.

The Windsor Spitfires have a total of five players on the ‘Players to Watch’ list for November. Jean-Luc Foudy and Will Cuylle are both ‘A’ prospects, while Kyle McDonald and defesemen Ruben Rafkin and Dylan Robinson are ‘C’ prospects.

The NHL Central Scouting Service uses letter grades to classify their rankings. ‘A’ prospect is classified as a potential first round pick. A ‘B’ prospect is classified as a second or third round candidate. A ‘C’ prospect is classified as a potential fourth, fifth, or sixth round pick.

The Spirit will be on the road Wednesday, November 27 to play the Flint Firebirds. Puck drop will be at 7:00 p.m. from the Dort Federal Event Center.

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