Recap: Oke’s 27 saves lead Spirit past Firebirds, 4-1

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Saginaw, MI – The Saginaw Spirit continued their hot start to the 2021-22 season Wednesday night at The Dow Event Center with a 4-1 triumph over their In-State Rival, the Flint Firebirds. With the victory Saginaw now holds a 2-0 lead in the 12-game Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup Rivalry Series.

Rookie goaltender Andrew Oke made 27 saves to pick up his second victory of the season. The Spirit scored two shorthanded goals, while killing nine of nine power plays against. Grand Blanc native Dalton Durhart had two goals on the night, improving to five points in just two games this season against Flint. Buffalo Sabres prospect Josh Bloom extended his point streak to four-straight games with a shorthanded goal in the second period.

4:33 into the first period, it was Duhart who opened the scoring for the Spirit. It was just the second time this season the Spirit opened the scoring in the game going back to opening night on October 16. The Spirit held their 1-0 advantage through the remainder of the period, despite being outshot, 12-10.

33 seconds into the second period, Bloom broke behind the Flint Firebirds power play personnel for a shorthanded breakaway goal. Bloom’s second goal of the season was unassisted. The Spirit would put the pressure on their penalty killers and goaltender Oke by taking four consecutive minor penalties in the period. After killing the first three, it was Duhart who cashed in on a two-on-one rush with Pacey Schlueting for his second tally of night. The Spirit took a 2-0 lead to the third period after outshooting Flint, 6-5 in the middle frame.

The Spirit extended their two-goal lead to 3-0 with a goal from Calumet, MI native Dean Loukus (loh-kis) scored his fourth goal of the season at 2:09 of the third period with assists from Calem Mangone and Matyas Sapovaliv. Late in the final frame, a miscue in front of the Saginaw goal led to an Amadeus Lombardi goal to break the shutout for Andrew Oke. The Spirit picked up the 4-1 win to improve to 4-1-1-0 and 2-1-0-0 at home.

Saginaw will hit the road for a game in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario on Wednesday, November 3rd. Puck drop is scheduled for 7:07 p.m. Fans can watch the game at Buffalo Wild Wings of Saginaw located at 2690 Tittabawssee Road or listen live on 100.5 WSGW with the voices of Saginaw Spirit hockey, Joey Battaino & Dennis Desrosiers.

The Spirit return home on Saturday, November 6th to face the Sarnia Sting. It’s First Responders Night presented by Fisher Companies. The Charity game begins at 4:00 p.m. and faceoff for the Spirit and Sting is 7:05 p.m.

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