Three third period goals from 67’s bury Spirit, 5-1

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By Matthew Wesolowski

Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit (25-20-2-0) fell 5-1 to the first place Ottawa 67’s (34-9-2-2) after a three goal third period Saturday, February 4 at the Dow Event Center.

Zayne Parekh scored the lone goal for Saginaw and Andrew Oke made 31 saves on 36 shots. In his return to Saginaw after being acquired by Ottawa, Pavel Mintyukov scored a goal and an assist. Thomas Sirman netted two goals and Collin MacKenzie allowed one goal on 31 shots for the 67’s.

The game started with Saginaw on an extended powerplay after Jack Beck took a high sticking double minor penalty at 6:19. Despite several shots and close chances, Ottawa held the Spirit scoreless.

The 67’s scored first at 10:52 in the first frame. Brad Gardiner started the play by passing to Brady Stonehouse. From there, the winger took a shot at Oke and a cluster of skaters formed in front of the net. Cameron Tolnai came out on top and wristed a shot past Oke’s glove to make it 1-0 Ottawa.

Saginaw went down a skater after Ian Phillips was called for slashing at 18:20 in the opening period. The penalty spanned both the first and second periods.

At the end of the first period, Ottawa led 1-0 despite a 12-10 Saginaw shot advantage.

The second period opened with Saginaw killing off the remainder of Phillips’ penalty successfully.

Saginaw tied the game up at 2:30 in the second frame. Joey Willis won the faceoff and got Mitchell Smith the puck. The Saginaw native passed to Zayne Parekh next. After maneuvering, the defenseman ripped a shot over MacKenzie’s glove to tie it a one apiece.

The Barber Poles regained the lead at 8:23 in the middle period. Chris Barlas gained the puck behind Saginaw’s net and passed out front to Anthony Costantini. The defenseman took a shot at Oke that was turned away. Former Spirit Pavel Mintyukov recovered and flipped the puck past Oke while falling to make it 2-1 Ottawa.

At the end of the second period, Ottawa held a 2-1 lead and gained a 24-23 shot advantage.

The third period started with the 67’s on the man-advantage after PJ Forgione committed a double minor high sticking penalty after the second period ended. Ottawa was able to score on the chance at 2:25. Pavel Mintyukov got Jack Beck the puck at the left faceoff dot. The Calgary Flames prospect sent a shot towards Oke and he made the save. The puck deflected off the goaltender, but Logan Morrison was able to grab the rebound and rifle a shot over Oke’s glove for his 24th goal of the season.

The 67’s tacked on another just 12 seconds later. Cooper Foster shot a pass to Thomas Sirman and he wristed a shot past Oke’s glove for his fifth of the season.

Ottawa added another tally at 8:19 in the third frame. Thomas Sirman potted his second of the game under Oke’s blocker off a rebounding shot from Anthony Costantini. Cooper Foster earned an assist on the play.

With time running out, Saginaw was unable to find any more goals and Ottawa came away with a 36-31 shot advantage and a 5-1 win. With the loss, the Spirit fell to 25-20-2-0.

Saginaw stays home as they host the Erie Otters Wednesday, February 8, at the Dow Event Center. This is a makeup game from December 17. Puck drop is at 7:05, and tickets are available at Ticketmaster, the Saginaw Spirit Store (6321 State Street), Dow Event Center Box Office, and by phone at (989) 497-7747.

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