Saginaw, MI – The Saginaw Spirit were shut out for the first time this season Thursday night, falling to the Flint Firebirds by a 3-0 score at The Dow Event Center. New York Islanders prospect Tristan Lennox made his return to the net after missing nearly of month of action. Lennox held his team in the game with 21 saves, while the Spirit failed to find their offensive stride against their West Division rival.
The Spirit were determined to get off to a good start in this game, but it was the Firebirds who would score first. Owen Pitters brought the puck down the right side and found Coulson Pitre, who backhanded in his sixth goal of the season and third against the Spirit at 7:55 of the first period. The Firebirds outshot the Spirit 11-10 in the opening period and had a 1-0 lead after one.
Saginaw had owned the second period, scoring nine goals in the middle frame in their last two games. On this night however, it was the Firebirds who would extend their one-goal lead early in the period. Riley Piercey skated down the left wing, pulled Lennox out of position, and wrapped the puck in past the Spirit goalie. Saginaw outshot Flint 11-10 in the second period, but trailed 2-0.
With the pressure on in the third period, Michelone stood tall against the Spirit onslaught. Saginaw again put 11 shots on net, but couldn’t solve the Kanata, Ontario native. Michelone earned his first OHL shutout stopping all 32 Saginaw shots. Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Braeden Kressler added an empty net goal and the Spirit fell to the Firebirds, 3-0. The defeat brings the Coors Light I-75 Divide Rivalry Series to three games to two in favor of the Spirit.
The Spirit take on the Guelph Storm Saturday night for ‘Hometown Heroes Night’ presented by CAN Council. The Spirit will wear special “Ugly Sweater” jerseys to be auctioned off following the game. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:05 p.m. at The Dow Event Center.