Spirit struggle in third, fall to Barrie Colts, 7-3

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Albert Michnac extended his point streak to an OHL league-leading 11 games.


Friday, October 19, 2018


Saginaw, Michigan – Five consecutive goals allowed in the third period would be the downfall of the Saginaw Spirit (6-4-1-0; 13 pts.) in Friday’s 7-3 loss to the Barrie Colts (6-5-1-0; 13 pts.) at the Dow Event Center.


Coming off their second defeat away from home to the Soo Greyhounds, the Spirit have now lost two straight after their five game-win streak was stalled this past Wednesday.


The Spirit struck first, taking the early lead when right-winger Cole Coskey scored his fifth goal of the season, with assists from alternate captain Brady Gilmour and left-winger Albert Michnac at 9:40 of the first period.


Coskey, who’s second on the team with 15 points, took control of the puck behind Barrie’s net to set up the scoring chance. After deking defenseman Tyler Tucker between the legs, the 19-year-old adjusted his body for the 1-on-1 look with the goalie, hitting his mark at the top right corner.


Colts’ 18-year-old forward Sam Rhodes timed a cross-ice pass from Jason Willms perfectly to tie the game at 6:22 in the frame. Tapping the puck in past a sprawling Ivan Prosvetov, Rhodes grabbed his fourth goal of the season.


Prosvetov entered the weekend having won four games in seven appearances this season. The Arizona Coyotes prospect stopped 20 shots, while Barrie goaltender and Vegas Golden Knights prospect Maksim Zhukov recorded 33 saves.


With less than five minutes to go in the first, alternate captain D.J. Busdeker earned his fifth point of the season and goals in back-to-back games. The native of Dexter, Michigan found an opening to the left of the crease for the backhanded goal and 2-1 Saginaw lead.


Gilmour, who was drafted by the Detroit Red Wings in 2017, would later score in the opening minute of the second period for his third goal of the season and first since Sept. 29, when the Spirit came back to force overtime against the Guelph Storm.


Michnac and 2018 New York Islanders second round draft pick Bode Wilde both received their second assist of the game at :38 for the two-goal lead. Michnac has extended his point-streak to an OHL season-high 11 games and currently leads all Saginaw players in scoring with 17 points.


Taking advantage of a hooking penalty to overager Reagan O’Grady, veteran defenseman Justin Murray would cut Barrie’s deficit with 46 seconds left on the power play goal, his fourth of the season.


After being limited to just 13 shots through 40 minutes of play, the Colts evened the score at three apiece 3:45 into the third period. A wrist shot at the top of the circle was good for 20-year-old Ben Hawerchuk’s seventh goal of the season.


In what would be the start of five straight for Barrie, who sit in seventh place in the OHL Eastern Conference standings, last year’s Central Division winners saw Lucas Chiodo, Matej Pekar, Justin Murray and Jason Willms all score in the final 12 minutes remaining of regulation.


Prosvetov, the Russian-born goaltender, has a goals against average of 2.81 and a .980 save percentage after picking up his first regulation loss with Saginaw, who had 36 shots on goal compared to the Colts’, 27.


Applebee’s 3 Stars of the Game:

  1. Ben Hawerchuk (BAR) – G, 2A, +3
  2. Lucas Chiodo (BAR) – G, 2A, +3
  3. Brady Gilmour (SAG) – G, A


Saginaw will conclude the weekend home stand on Saturday, Oct. 20, continuing the Coors I-75 Divide Rivalry in the second of an eight-game series against the Flint Firebirds. The Spirit won the first meeting, 6-2, at the Dort Federal Event Center back on Oct. 3.


To purchase your tickets for all Saginaw home games, call (989) 497-7747, visit or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.

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