Friday, November 9, 2018
Saginaw, Michigan – The Saginaw Spirit brought in the Mississauga Steelheads for the first meeting between the two teams this season. Fans were treated to a 5-1 Spirit win on Hockey Fights Cancer Night presented by Covenant HealthCare at The Dow Event Center.
Dexter, Michigan native D.J. Busdeker opened the scoring for the Spirit 5:26 into the first period. After Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour dropped a pass behind the Steelheads goal, Busdeker took the puck and wrapped it around the right side of the net to give Saginaw a early, 1-0 lead. The goal was the fourth of the year for the Saginaw Spirit alternate captain.
New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde added the secondary assist on the play. The game was the first for the Plymouth, Michigan since October 19.
Brady Gilmour nearly gave Saginaw a two-goal lead about a minute later after making moves around two Mississauga defenders. Gilmour took a wrist shot from the right faceoff dot that hit the post after beating the goaltender’s blocker.
Busdeker almost scored his second of the game shorthanded with just over seven minutes left in the opening period. After a Danny Katic minor crosschecking penalty, Busdeker avoided a Mississauga defenseman hit check along the boards and took a wrist shot that Jacob Ingham denied with his pad.
Ingham, a Los Angeles Kings prospect, came into the game with a 2.87 goals against average and a .907 save percentage.
The Steelheads tied the game with 1:23 remaining in the first period. Nicholas Canade scored his second goal of the season. Edmonton Oilers prospect Ryan McLeod sent a pass from behind the Spirit net to Canade at the bottom of the right faceoff circle, Canade took a wrist shot that squeaked by Saginaw goaltender Ivan Prosvetov. The teams took a 1-1 tie into the first intermission.
Saginaw’s Ryan Stepien scored 4:43 into the second period to put the Spirit back on top. Stepien received a nice drop pass from Saginaw Spirit leading scorer Albert Michnacand took a wrist shot from the top of the faceoff circle that beat the goaltender for his first goal of the season.
Just seconds into a Saginaw powerplay, Cole Coskey scored the Spirit’s third goal of the game. Coskey took a snap shot from the top of the slot off a faceoff win by New York Islanders prospect Blade Jenkins. Coskey is now just one goal away from his 50th OHL goal.
The Spirit special teams were very strong in the game, going one-for-four on the powerplay and killing all three Steelhead man-advantage opportunities. Arizona Coyotes prospect Ivan Prosvetov spearheaded the penalty kill with great goaltending. The Russian goaltender made big saves on Florida Panthers prospect Owen Tippett’s snap shot from the top of the slot and a Michael Little one-timer redirection from point blank.
Overager Reagan O’Grady added a shorthanded goal with just over eight minutes remaining in the third period. After a great individual effort by Nicholas Porco skating around a Mississauga defender and hit the post, O’Grady punched home the rebound following up on the play.
Jackson, Michigan native Blade Jenkins added the fifth Spirit goal on a two-on-one rush with 1:08 remaining in the game. Jenkins received a pass from D.J. Busdeker and took a shot from the left circle that beat Ingham. Despite a even, 31-31 shots on goal total, Saginaw skated to a, 5-1 win.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- D.J. Busdeker – SAG – G, A
- Ryan Stepien – SAG – GWG
- Ivan Prosvetov – SAG – 30 saves, W
The Saginaw Spirit host the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds on Saturday, November 10 for Military Appreciation Night at The Dow Event Center presented by Bay City Elks Lodge #88. The puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m. with a game worn jersey auction following the game. The game will be the third between the two teams this season, with each team winning on home ice.
For tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com, or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.