Guelph, ON – The Saginaw Spirit allowed seven unanswered goals Wednesday at the Sleeman Centre in a 8-2 loss to the Guelph Storm.
It’s the first time the Spirit have drop back-to-back losses in nearly two months as Guelph shortens the gap for third and fourth place in the Western Conference standings to three points.
Ryan McLeod and Cole Perfetti collected a goal in the fourth of a five-game road swing.
The first period saw two of the three goals scored come on the power play, including McLeod’s second in two games and 16th of the season, giving the Spirit the go-ahead lead at 3:06.
McLeod, drafted by the Edmonton Oilers in the second-round (40th overall) in 2018, took a wrist shot to the top-left corner for his fourth goal since coming over to Saginaw earlier this month.
Through 48 games played, the Spirit arrived Wednesday with the league’s fifth-best power play unit and the fourth-ranked penalty kill.
2017 Vegas Golden Knights first-round (13th overall) selection Nick Suzuki would score two of the three goals for the Storm in the opening period.
The now Montreal Canadiens forward prospect picked up two goals, including the first at 10:04 and later on the power play with 1:45 left, to stand at three total in his nine-game stint with the Storm. Suzuki is second on the team in points (57) behind Arizona Coyotes prospect Nate Schnarr (70).
Schnarr, the 19-year-old, was also credited with his team-high 45th assist on Suzuki’s first of two goals.
After making 14 saves, Ivan Prosvetov‘s outing ended with 9:57 left in the second period, as the Storm registered three more goals without a response in the first 10 minutes. It’s the most allowed to the opponent in a single-game by the 2018 Coyotes fourth-round (114th overall) draft pick since December 6.
Enduring back-to-back losses after last Sunday’s 5-3 final against the Ottawa 67’s, Prosvetov now has a goals against average (GAA) of 3.13 with a 0.901 save percentage (SAV%). Rookie backup Tristan Lennox made his first appearance in relief in three months, following Scharr’s 25th of the season and a 6-1 Storm lead. He would finish with 13 saves.
Schnarr is tied with 2017 Dallas Stars fourth rounder Liam Hawel for the second-most goals by a Guelph player. Hawal opened up the onslaught in the second at 4:54 while overage forward Domenico Commisso scored on both Prosveotv and Lennox at 5:57 and 12:11, respectively.
A clearing attempt in the Storm zone went back out to Perfetti in the slot en route to Saginaw’s offensive troubles ending.
Making it 7-2 with 4:19 left, Perfetti, the fifth overall selection in 2018 by the Spirit, earned his 20th goal of his rookie season and third in five games. The 17-year-old forward is third among first-year OHL players in points (42).
Shots on goal in the second totaled out at 12 for each club.
Fourth-year winger Zachary Roberts recorded the lone goal in the final frame at 15:07. Receiving the cross-ice pass on a breakaway, Roberts’ seventh of the year would be the most goals scored by a Spirit opponent this season since November 4.
2018 OHL Priority Selection second-round (33rd overall) pick Ethan Cardwell also made his return to the lineup after being recalled on Tuesday. The 16-year-old winger has recorded one goal in six games with Saginaw.
Applebee’s Three Stars of the Game:
- Nick Suzuki (GUE) – 2G, A, +2
- Nate Schnarr (GUE) – G, 2A, +2
- Domenico Commisso (GUE) – 2G, +2
The Spirit return to the United States for a home-and-home weekend set against the Flint Firebirds, beginning this Friday at the Dort Federal Event Center. Puck drop is set for 7:00 p.m. (EST) in the sixth of an eight-game regular-season series.
Listen live on the flagship WSGW 100.5 FM Talk & Sports and fmtalk1005.com with Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers. Pre-game coverage starts at 6:45 p.m. (EST).
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.
Saginaw has already clinched its second Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup by winning the first five games of this year, including three in Flint, having recently scored the most goals in a single-game (9) in over four years back on January 2.
Saturday will be the 12th annual Shocks and Saves Charity Game, presented by the Pulse3 Foundation.
With fellow Detroit Red Wings alumni and local EMTs and physicians taking the ice at 4:30 p.m. (EST) at The Dow Event Center, $13 discounted tickets are available when the Spirit host Flint at 7:05 p.m. (EST).
To purchase your tickets for all Saginaw home games, call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com, or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.