Kingston, ON – The Saginaw Spirit extend their win-streak to five games with 7-1 victory over the Kingston Frontenacs Friday evening.
New York Islanders 2018 second round pick Bode Wilde collected first-star honors with three-point effort. Along with Wilde, five other Spirit players collected multi-point nights.
Rookie stand-out goaltender Tristan Lennox made 20 saves for his fourth victory of the season.
Lennox made great saves to keep the game scoreless early in the first period. The Saginaw second round pick stoned Kingston leading scorer Ryan Cranford after a Spirit turnover in the neutral zone. The Frontenac’s overager took the puck away from a Saginaw defender and came down on a breakaway. Cranford took a wrist-shot from the right face-off dot that was denied by Lennox.
The 16-year old net-minder saved another golden opportunity for Cranford to take the lead eight minutes into the first period on a two-on-one rush. The Kingston right-winger sent a wrist shot from the top of the left face-off circle that Lennox deflected into the corner with a blocker.
The Spirit took the lead on Nicholas Porco’s 17th of the season with 8:47 remaining in the opening period. Overage defenseman Justin Murray’s shot rebounded into the slot that was collected by Porco. The 2019 NHL Draft prospect made a quick deke to the backhand and slid the puck past Kingston goaltender Brendan Bonello.
Porco added his second goal of the game just over three minutes later. The 17-year old redirected New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde’s shot from the point to give the Spirit a two-goal lead.
Thornhurst, Pennsylvania native Jake Goldowski extended the Saginaw lead to three just under five minutes into the second period. After Detroit Red Wings prospect Reilly Webb point-shot was denied by Bonello’s pad, Goldowski collected the rebound and sent a quick shot into the open net.
Wilde tallied his 13th goal of the season on the power play with 3:02 remaining in the second period to give the Spirit a 4-0 lead. The stand-out defenseman sniped a wrist-shot from the top of the left face-off circle that just snuck under the crossbar.
Wilde, a 2018 second round pick of the Islanders, is third among OHL defensemen with 49 points. The former University of Michigan commit is just two points Sault Ste. Marie’s Mac Hollowell. The Plymouth, Michigan native signed an entry-level contract earlier this season with the New York Islanders.
Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux scored the Spirit’s fifth goal of the game just over three minutes into the final frame. After an amazing display of puck handling by overager Albert Michnac set up Giroux in the slot. The Spirit captain sent a wrist shot over Bonello’s shoulder to for his 18th goal of the season.
The Spirit captain Giroux finished the game with a team-best plus/minus of plus-four against Kingston.
Saginaw continued to pour it on just over four minutes later with defenseman Justin Murray’s ninth of the season. Again, Michnac made a great pass to set up Murray for the wide-open sixth goal.
Murray has been a key addition by Spirit general manager Dave Drinkill to solidify the back-end. The Spirit have won 15 of the 17 games since Murray was acquired from the Barrie Colts back in December.
The Spirit scored their seventh goal of the game with 1:47 remaining in regulation. Saginaw left-winger Danny Katic sent a great pass to the slot that a streaking Camaryn Baber one-timed top shelf for his third goal of the season.
Saginaw’s fourth line of Goldowski, Baber, and Katic combined for two goals and two assists for a collective plus/minus of plus-six.
Just 27 seconds after Baber’s goal, the Kingston Frontenac’s broke up the Lennox shut-out bid. Cranford finally put one past the rookie net-minder for his 13th goal of the season with just 1:20 remaining in the game.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Bode Wilde (SAG) G, 2A +2
- Nicholas Porco (SAG) 2G +3
- Damien Giroux (SAG) G, A +4
The Spirit travels to Canada’s capitol city to take on CHL’s fifth ranked team the Ottawa 67’s Sunday, January 27 for the second and final meeting of the season between the two teams. Ottawa took the first game, 8-2 against Saginaw at The Dow Event Center. Puck drop from the TD Place Arena is set for 2:00 p.m.
Fans can follow all the action via the flagship WSGW 100.5 FM Talk and Sports or www.fmtalk1005.com with “Countdown to Face-off” beginning at 1:40 p.m. with Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on the call.
The Saginaw Spirit “Watch Party” is available at the 2690 Tittabawassee Rd, Saginaw, Buffalo Wild Wings location for all road games this season.
The Spirit return home Saturday, February 2 against in-state rival Flint Firebirds at 7:30 p.m. Saginaw has been victorious in all five games against Flint so far this season.
The game marks the return of the 12th annual Shocks and Saves Charity game between the Detroit Red Wings alumni and local EMT’s and doctors. Puck drop for the charity game begins at 4:30 p.m.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.