Saginaw, MI. – The Saginaw Spirit earned their sixth straight victory in a 3-1 win over the Soo Greyhounds Monday evening in front of 3,213 fans at The Dow Event Center.
The Spirit found the back of the net first only 6:19 into the first period. Top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti skated from the point to the bottom of the right-wing circle. His backhanded shot bounced into the net past Greyhounds goaltender Bailey Brkin. The goal was Perfetti’s 20th of the season.
Only 16 seconds into a Mason Millman holding penalty, the Greyhounds tied the game. Defenseman Robert Calisti skated to the bottom of the right-wing circle and shot the puck toward the front of the net, bouncing off a Spirit defenseman past Spirit goaltender Marshall Frappier.
The Spirit outshot the Greyhounds 15-9, but the two teams went into the first intermission tied, 1-1.
Midway through the second period, New York Islanders draft pick Cole Coskey almost broke the tie. Perfetti dumped the puck off to Coskey at the right point. Coskey toe-dragged around a defender that fell down and attempted to lift the puck over Brkin’s right shoulder, but Jacob LeGuerrier’s stick deflected the shot wide.
Cullen McLean brought the puck into the Spirit’s zone. At the top of the left-wing circle, McLean passed the puck to Alex Johnston for a one-timer in the slot that Frappier saved.
With 6:35 remaining in the second period Dalton Duhart skated into the Greyhound’s zone from the blue lines and took a slapshot, but Brkin was able to stop the puck.
The Spirit once again outshot the Greyhounds 11-5 in the second frame, but the game remained tied, 1-1.
Early into the third period, Coskey had a scoring opportunity. At the right-wing circle, Coskey shot the puck that was saved by Brkin’s pads to keep the game tied at one.
Midway through the third period, Alex Johnston skated up to Frappier. He tried to get the puck past Frappier but the Spirit’s goaltender was prepared to make the save.
With only three minutes remaining in regulation, Duhart passed the puck to Ethan Cardwell in the slot. Cardwell took a slapshot that went top-shelf past Brkin to break the tie, 2-1.
Cardwell added his second of the game into an empty net with 1:13 remaining to seal the sixth victory in a row for the Spirit and move them back into first place in the West Division, and a tie for first place in the Western Conference.
Former Western League goaltender Bailey Brkin made a season-high 37 saves in the losing effort.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Camaryn Baber (SAG) A +1
- Cole Perfetti (SAG) G
- Dalton Duhart (SAG) A +2
The Saginaw Spirit will be on the road Friday, January 3 to play the Kitchener Rangers. Puck drop will be at 7:30 p.m. from the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium in Kitchener, Ontario.
The Spirit will be back at home on Saturday, January 4 to face-off against the Oshawa Generals for Ted Lindsay Night. There will be a Ted Lindsay MVP Trophy photo opportunity available.
Fans can catch the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.wsgw.com with Art Lewis and the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call. “Countdown to Face-off” with host Charley Porter begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
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.