Saginaw, MI. – The Saginaw Spirit treated 3,184 fans at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, MI to an 8-4 victory over the Oshawa Generals for their seventh victory in the last eight games.
New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey became just the seventh Saginaw Spirit player to reach the 200-point plateau with a goal and two assists, passing Tom Pyatt as the Spirit’s sixth all-time leading scorer in team history.
The six Spirit players to reach 200 points are franchise-leading scorer Ryan McDonough (247), Vincent Trocheck (240), Jack Combs (229), Josh Shalla (213), Jordan Szwarz (204), and Tom Pyatt (200).
‘A’ ranked 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti contributed a career-high five-point effort in the Spirit victory.
The Spirit had a jump in their step early in the first period and nearly opened the scoring during the first shift. As the puck bounced near the Oshawa blueline, Saginaw, Michigan native Mitchell Smith kept the puck in and chipped the puck over to 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti at the left face-off circle. The Spirit center faked a cross ice pass and fired a shot from the top of the left circle that ricocheted off Oshawa Generals goaltender Zachary Paputsakis’ mask into the corner.
After Danny Katic was called for a hooking minor, the Generals pulled ahead with rookie Daniel Michaud’s first career OHL goal. 2020 NHL Draft prospect Dawson McKinney attempted a pass from the corner into the slot that was blocked. Michaud was able to get his stick on the loose puck in the slot past Saginaw netminder Tristan Lennox for the 1-0 lead just 7:50 into the first period.
After 2020 NHL Draft prospect Ethan Cardwell went wide around William Ennis, the Oshawa defenseman was forced to pull down Cardwell and take a penalty. The Spirit power play struggles were erased with Cole Perfetti’s 21st goal of the season to tie the game 1-1. Philadelphia Flyers prospect Mason Millman teed up New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey for a one-timer at the top of the left circle. Perfetti batted the rebound out of mid-air into the Oshawa net to extend his point streak to seven games.
Saginaw pulled ahead 13:23 into the first period on forward Camaryn Baber’s sixth goal of the season. The Saginaw center received a pass at the top of the slot from Saginaw captain Damien Giroux with Baber’s back to the Oshawa goal. Baber faked a spin to the backhand but then spun left and sniped a wrist shot top corner for a Saginaw 2-1 lead.
The Spirit converted on their second straight man-power advantage with 4:40 left in the first period after Michaud was called for a slashing minor. Perfetti hit Millman with a pass at the top of the point and the Saginaw defenseman fired a wrist shot that deflected off an Oshawa defender past Paputsakis into the top shelf for the 3-1 Saginaw Spirit lead.
Saginaw dominated in the shot department 15-6 in the first 20 minutes of play and took a 3-1 lead into the first intermission.
Port Huron, Michigan native Andrew MacLean replaced Zachary Paputsakis in the Oshawa net to start the second period.
With Mitchell Brewer in the penalty box for elbowing, the Saginaw Spirit made it three-for-three on the man-power advantage on Cole Coskey’s 18th goal of the season 5:49 into the second frame. Coskey dumped a pass to Perfetti behind the net and drifted toward the Oshawa net from the right corner. Perfetti returned the pass and Coskey sent a sharp angle one-timer from the bottom of the left circle that beat MacLean short-side to put the Spirit ahead 4-1. The Zion, Illinois native Coskey became just the seventh Saginaw Spirit player to reach the 200-point plateau in team-history with the goal.
Oshawa answered with 7:44 remaining in the second period on overager Brett Neumann cut the Saginaw lead down back down to two goals with his 28th goal of the season. Neumann fired a wrist shot from the left circle that beat Lennox over the goaltender’s left shoulder to make it 4-2 in favor of the Spirit.
Saginaw, Michigan native Mitchell Smith put the Spirit back up three goals in the waning seconds of the second period. Damien Giroux dropped a pass off to Smith as he entered the Oshawa zone and Smith walked around a Generals defender. The Saginaw defenseman attempted a pass that redirected off an Oshawa player into the Generals net for his fifth goal of the season to make it a 5-2 Spirit lead after two periods of play.
The Spirit extended the lead just 2:30 into the third period on Spirit captain Damien Giroux’s team-leading 24th goal of the season. Cole Perfetti picked off a Oshawa pass in the Generals zone and passed it to Cole Coskey in the left circle. Coskey bought some time and pulled the Generals defenders toward him before sliding a pass over to Giroux for a one-timer from the right of the crease past MacLean to make it 6-2.
Oshawa answered 5:03 into the third period on 2020 NHL Draft prospect Ty Tullio’s 16th goal of the season. The Oshawa forward redirected Brett Neumann’s point shot down past Lennox to bring the Generals back to within three goals.
Mason Millman notched his second goal of the game 8:59 into the third period to put the Spirit back up four goals. Similar to Millman’s first period goal, the Spirit defenseman fired a wrist shot from the point through traffic top shelf for his 10th goal of the season.
Saginaw tallied their eighth goal just over the midway point of the third period on Jake Goldowski’s ninth goal of the season. Former Oshawa General Danil Antropov absorbed a hit and passed the puck off to Danny Katic in the left face-off circle. Katic dropped the puck back to Goldowski who hammered the puck past MacLean from the right face-off dot to give Saginaw an 8-3 lead.
Oshawa’s Brett Neumann tallied his second goal of the game 14:42 to make it a four-goal game. Neumann followed Tullio’s breakaway chance that was trickling wide of the Saginaw net and tipped the loose puck into the goal for his 29th goal of the season.
After the Spirit dominated in the first two periods and outshot the Generals 25-12 after 40 minutes. Saginaw goaltender stopped 26 of Oshawa’s 28 third period shots to keep the Spirit on top for his 10th victory of the season.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Cole Perfetti (SAG) G, 4A
- Cole Coskey (SAG) G, 2A
- Mason Millman (SAG) 2G, A
The Saginaw Spirit continue the three-game home stand Sunday, January 5 when they face West Division rival Sarnia Sting for the fourth meeting of the season. The Spirit have taken the first three games against the Sting this season and have outscored Sarnia, 25-15. Puck drop from Wendler Arena inside The Dow Event Center starts at 5:30 p.m.
Fans will have the opportunity to skate with the Saginaw Spirit players following the game against the Sting and are encouraged to bring their ice skates to the arena. The Spirit are selling $6 Covenant Kids tickets for the matchup against the Sarnia Sting.
Fans can catch the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.wsgw.com with Art Lewis and the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call. “Countdown to Face-off” with host Charley Porter begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.