Kitchener, ON – The Saginaw Spirit stunned the Kitchener Rangers Friday night at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium when they fought back from a 4-0 deficit in the second period with six unanswered goals in the final 27 minutes of the game. Captain Camaryn Baber scored his first OHL hat trick in the third period and Buffalo Sabres prospect Josh Bloom scored two shorthanded goals in the game to lead the Spirit back. Andrew Oke made 22 saves and held the team in it with big saves in the second and third period.
The Spirit, playing with just 10 forwards tonight, got off to a slow start Friday in Kitchener. At 7:29 of the first period, Arber Xhekaj ripped a slap shot past Andrew Oke to open the scoring. It was Xhekaj’s second goal in as many games against Saginaw. Mitchell Martin scored twice in a row for the Rangers at 10:22 and 19:24 to give Kitchener a 3-0 lead after one period.
Kitchener would extend their lead to 4-0 on a two-on-one rush with Mitchell Martin and Reid Valade. Martin slid the pass over to Valade, who put the puck over the shoulder of Oke. The Spirit began the comeback at 12:42 on Roberto Mancini’s fourth goal of the season from Pavel Mintyukov and Josh Bloom. With Dalton Duhart in the box, Bloom broke away from the defense and beat Cajan past his blocker hand to get the score to 4-2 before the end of the second period.
The Spirit’s top ranked penalty kill continued their success shutting down the Rangers power play. During four-on-four play, Baber scored his first of three goals on the night at 8:14 to make it 4-3. Just 14 seconds later, Baber scored again to tie the game at 4-4. With Mancini in the penalty box, It was Bloom again who broke down the wing and scored his second shorthanded goal of the game to give the Spirit their first lead of the game. The Rangers pulled their goaltender late in the game, but it was Baber who completed the hat trick with an empty net goal, to cement the 6-4 Spirit victory. Saginaw is 5-1-1-0 on the road this season.
Next on the schedule for the Saginaw Spirit is a road test in Owen Sound against the Attack. The puck drops at 7:30 with the radio broadcast on 100.5 WSGW beginning with Countdown to Faceoff at 7:15 p.m. with the Voices of Saginaw Spirit Hockey, Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers.
The Spirit return to The Dow Event Center Saturday, Nov. 27 facing the Windsor Spitfires for ‘Light the Night’ supporting Leukemia and Lymphoma awareness.