Erie, PA – The Saginaw Spirit (14-19-1-0) surrendered a third-period lead and skated to a 4-2 loss Sunday afternoon against the Erie Otters (12-18-1-2) at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, Pennsylvania.
For a third straight game, the Spirit struck first, this time scoring on their second shot of the hockey game. Dalton Duhart brought the puck into the Erie zone, cut to the middle, and let a shot off that Erie goalie Marshall Nicholls kicked right on the stick of Roberto Mancini. Mancini lifted the rebound past Nicholls for his eighth goal of the season. In a penalty-filled first, the Otters would tie the game on the power play courtesy of Elias Cohen, who scored his 12th goal of the season on a one-timer from the left wing circle. The Otters outshot the Spirit, 11-8 in the first period.
The second period settled in until the Spirit went back out from at 16:54 on a fortuitous bounce for Evan Klein. His shot from the right circle deflected off an Erie defenseman, hit the end boards, bounced back in behind Nicholls, who kicked the puck into his own net. Sebastien Gervais and Josh Bloom picked up assists on the goal. Despite being outshot again 11-8 in the period, the held a 3-2 lead after the second period.
The Otters waisted little time tying the game in the third. Elias Cohen scored his second goal of the game at 4-on-4 play. The Spirit tried to breakout of their zone, but a turnover had Cohen all alone in front of Lennox. With a fake to the backhand, Cohen scored his 13th goal of the season. Erie would take their first lead of the game at 1:50 of the final stanza on a wraparound goal from Christian Kyrou. At 8:55, the Otters captain Daniel D’Amato game the Otters a two goal lead. Cohen picked up his third point of the game on an assist of the D’Amato goal. The Spirit continued their penalty trouble down the stretch with a major penalty to Brayden Hislop and a minor penalty to Josh Bloom. All this was too much to overcome as the Spirit split the weekend set with the Otters.
The Spirit next head to the Soo to take on the Greyhounds, Wednesday. Jan. 26. Saginaw returns home Saturday, Jan. 29 to face the London Knight of Shocks and Saves night.