Erie, PA – The Saginaw Spirit collected their third-straight victory, 4-2 over the Erie Otters on the road in Erie, Pennsylvania Friday evening.
After the victory the Spirit move past the Soo Greyhounds for first place in the West Division.
Saginaw goaltender Tristan Lennox was put to the test early with several Erie shots on goal. Emmett Sproule pass the puck to rookie center Connor Lockhart for a shot from the left face-off dot but Lennox slid over for a pad save to keep the game scoreless.
With New York Islanders prospect Blade Jenkins and Dallas Stars prospect Nicholas Porco each called for penalties, the Otters had a five-on-three, man-power advantage.
Erie capitalized on the five-on-three power play just 6:16 into the opening period with Maxim Golod’s third goal of the season. 2020 NHL Draft top-prospect Jamie Drysdale’s slap shot squeezed through Lennox’s pads and Golod was able to tip the loose puck into the net for the 1-0 early lead.
Saginaw Spirit 2019 first round pick Connor Punnett nearly put the Spirit on the board midway through the first period.
The rookie defenseman drifted down and received a pass from 2020 NHL Draft top-prospect Cole Perfetti. Punnett took a wrist shot from the left face-off dot that clanked off the post behind Erie goaltender Daniel Murphy.
Saginaw evened the score up with 5:32 remaining in the first period with D.J. King’s second goal of the season.
The Spirit defenseman joined a rush up-ice and received a pass from Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux at the top of the slot. King sniped a wrist shot past Erie goaltender Daniel Murphy top-shelf for the goal.
Center Ethan Cardwell registered his fourth point in the last two games with the secondary assist on the play.
The teams went into the first intermission tied, 1-1 with the Otters outshooting the Spirit, 9-7 in the first period.
The Spirit came out of the second intermission strong and nearly took the lead early in the middle frame during a scramble in front of the Erie net. Perfetti took control of a loose puck in the slot and took a quick wrist shot that ricocheted off the post to keep the score tied.
Saginaw took the lead 9:36 into second period on Danny Katic’s second goal of the season.
Thornhurst, Pennsylvania native Jacob Goldowski made a nice move wide-right around an Otters defender and centered a pass to the front of the net. Katic one-timed the Goldowski pass between Murphy’s five-hole for the goal.
Just 27 seconds later, Saginaw captain Damien Giroux made it a two-goal Spirit lead with his sixth goal of the season. Cole Perfetti created space near the point and made a nice heads-up pass to Giroux in the middle of the ice. The Minnesota Wild fifth round draft choice sniped a wrist shot top-corner for the 3-1 Spirit lead.
Saginaw netminder Tristan Lennox came up with two big breakaway saves in the third period.
After Brendan Sellan was called for tripping early in the third period, Erie Otters alternate captain Chad Yetman came down on a shorthanded breakaway opportunity. Yetman attempted a wrist shot in close that Lennox denied with a quick glove save.
Just under five minutes later, Sellan was sprung on a breakaway with a pass into the Spirit zone. The Erie left-winger attempted a forehand deke that was deflected into the corner with Lennox’s blocker.
The Spirit made it a three-goal game with just under eight minutes remaining in regulation on Jacob Goldowski’s first goal of the season. Camaryn Baber sent a behind the back pass from behind the net to the slot for a one-time tally for Goldowski.
Just over a minute after the Goldowski goal, Maxim Golod brought the Otters back to within two goals on his second powerplay goal of the game. The Concord, Ontario native Golod shielded the puck wide around a Spirit defender and cut towards the net. The Erie forward lifted a shot top-shelf from right in front of the crease for the goal.
The Spirit surrendered two powerplay goals for the first time this season on the goal. Saginaw had allowed just one goal on the man-power disadvantage before the game.
Lennox and the Spirit defense was able to stave off an Otters late empty-net push to collect their third straight victory.
The Cambridge, Ontario native Lennox made 27 saves on 29 shots for his second victory of the season.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Damien Giroux (SAG) GWG, A +2
- Jacob Goldowski (SAG) G, A +2
- Maxim Golod (ER) 2G
The Spirit finish out the three-game road trip Sunday, October 6 against the Oshawa Generals at 6:05 p.m. for the first of two meetings this season. Saginaw and Oshawa split a physical season series last season with both teams victorious on the road.
Fans can catch all the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.fmtalk1005.com with the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call. “Countdown to Face-off” begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
Fans can visit the Buffalo Wild Wings location at 2690 Tittabawassee Road in Saginaw and join the official “Watch Party” for all Spirit away games. Admission is free of charge.
The Saginaw Spirit returns home to The Dow Event Center Wednesday, October 9 to take on the Peterborough Petes at 7:05 p.m.
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.