Bloom Wins Game for Spirit on Penalty Shot
Windsor, ON. - The Saginaw Spirit got back on track with a 4-3 overtime victory over the West Division rival Windsor Spitfires on the road Thursday evening.
2019 Saginaw Spirit second round pick Josh Bloom notched his second penalty shot goal of the season to win the game in overtime.
With the victory and 36 points this season, the Spirit move into a three-way tie for the West Division lead with the Spitfires and Flint Firebirds.
Windsor had the early scoring chance just over a minute into play, when Wyatt Johnston got loose in the Saginaw zone.Â The Windsor rookie received a drop pass at the point and skated down to the top of the slot to unleash a wrist shot that was denied by a quick glove save from Saginaw goaltender Marshall Frappier to keep the game scoreless early.
The Spirit had an opportunity to break the scoreless tie five minutes into the first period on a one-time chance.Â T-Bone Codd gained control of the puck in the right corner of the Windsor zone and sent a pass to overager D.J. Busdeker at the top of the right circle.Â The Dexter, Michigan native Busdeker one-timed the pass that was just fought off by Detroit, Michigan native Xavier Medina in the Spitfires net.
After Saginaw's fourth-ranked shorthanded unit killed a hooking penalty called on Camaryn Baber, the Spirit nearly took the lead with under eight minutes left into the opening frame.Â Grand Blanc, Michigan native Dalton Duhart took the puck away from a Spitfire at the Windsor point which sent the Spirit on a two-on-one rush.Â Duhart sent a saucer pass across the slot for a tip attempt from Baber.Â Windsor goaltender Medina was able to slide over just in time to deny the Baber redirection to keep the game tied.
Windsor broke the scoreless tie with 3:22 left in the first period on Nashville Predators second round pick Egor Afanasyev's ninth goal of the season.Â Johnston centered a pass to the top of the Spirit goal crease where Afanasyev poked the puck past Frappier for a Spitfires 1-0 lead.
Saginaw answered just 1:43 after the Afanasyev goal on 2020 NHL Draft prospect Ethan Cardwell's ninth goal of the season.Â Busdeker used his speed and handled the puck from Windsor's right corner back up to the point and sent a wrist shot toward the Spitfires net.Â Cardwell, who provided a screen in front of Medina, tipped the puck passed the Spitfires goaltender for the 1-1 tie.
Windsor regained a one-goal lead just 12 seconds after Cardwell's goal with Tyler Angle's 15th goal of the season.Â After Frappier mishandled the puck behind the net, 2020 NHL Draft prospect Will Cuylle took the puck away and centered the puck for the Angle wide-open goal to make it 2-1 Windsor.
The Spirit was again quick to answer just 27 seconds later to tie the game 2-2 on Camaryn Baber's fourth goal of the season.Â Overage defenseman Reilly Webb went around the Windsor net and sent a pass to the Spitfires slot from the left corner.Â Baber fought off a Spitfires defender to corral the puck and snap a shot over Medina's left shoulder for the goal with just 1:00 left in the first period.
The two clubs combined for four goals in the final 3:22 of the first period to go into intermission tied, 2-2.Â Each team supplied 12 shots on goal in the first 20 minutes of play.
New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey gave Saginaw their first lead of the game 6:39 into the second period.Â Forward Danny Katic gained control of the puck at the right half wall and centered the puck to Coskey in the Spitfires slot.Â The Saginaw right-winger sniped a wrist shot over the Windsor goaltender Medina's right shoulder for his 15th of the season.
Windsor was able to tie the game 3-3 just 1:30 later with Afanasyev's second goal of the game and 10th of the season.Â Johnston cleanly won a face-off in the Spirit zone directly back to the Russian forward at the top of the right circle.Â Afanasyev one-timed the puck past Frappier's goal to even up the game with 11:51 remaining in the second period.
Saginaw and Windsor went into the second intermission knotted up at 3-3.
Marshall Frappier came up big for the Spirit early in the third period on a two-on-one Spitfires rush.Â Jean-Luc Foudy sped around a Saginaw defender to gain control of the puck in the Spirit zone and sent a cross ice pass over to Afanasyev.Â The Windsor forward one-timed the hattrick attempt that Frappier deflected into the corner with a sliding blocker save to keep the game tied, 3-3.
5:35 into the third period, Windsor received their fourth power play opportunity after defenseman D.J. King was called for interference.Â Saginaw's fourth ranked shorthanded unit stifled a Spitfires man-power advantage that dropped from first in the OHL before the game to third after the game.
Saginaw Spirit forward Josh Bloom nearly broke the 3-3 tie with just over five minutes left in regulation on a rush up ice.Â The Saginaw rookie used his speed to catch a Windsor defenseman flat-footed and went wide to break into the Spitfires zone.Â Bloom cut to the front of the net and attempted a deke to his forehand for the shot that just went wide.
With just two minutes left in regulation each team nearly pulled ahead in an exchange of odd-man rushes that both goaltenders denied.Â Foudy had a chance as the Spitfires forward broke into the Spirit zone and fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle that Frappier fought off with his blocker.
After a scramble in front of the Spirit net, Danil Antropov came up with the puck and rushed down ice with Duhart on his right wing.Â Windsor's defenseman took away the pass and Antropov rifled a wrist shot from the right face-off circle that Medina stopped with a glove save.
Despite the opportunities, neither team was able to pull ahead in the third period and the game went to three-on-three overtime.
Bloom again, used his speed to get around a Windsor defenseman, exploding into the Spitfires zone on a breakaway but the rookie was interfered with as he shot and the referee called for a penalty shot.
On the penalty shot, Bloom patiently skated down to the Windsor slot, faked a deke and snuck the puck past Medina short-side for the Spirit 4-3 victory.Â Each of Bloom's two goals this season has come via a penalty shot.
Applebee's Three Stars of the Game:
Josh Bloom (SAG) GWG
Egor Afanasyev (WSR) 2G
Wyatt Johnston (WSR) 2A
The Saginaw Spirit are back at it Friday, December 13 when they travel to begin a home-and-home matchup against the in-state rival Flint Firebirds for the third of eight regular season meetings.Â Puck drop from the Dort Federal Event Center in Flint, Michigan begins at 7:00 p.m.
The two teams split the season series this season with both teams winning on the road.Â Flint took the first game of the season 4-1 at The Dow back in September, where Saginaw took their revenge in a 8-3 victory in Flint back on November 27.
Fans can catch all the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM andÂ www.wsgw.comÂ with the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call.Â "Countdown to Face-off" begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
Fans can visit the Buffalo Wild Wings location at 2690 Tittabawassee Road in SaginawÂ and join the official "Watch Party" for all Spirit away games. Admission is free of charge.
The Spirit and Firebirds finish up the home-and-home series Saturday, December 14 for the annual Teddy Bear Toss Night at The Dow Event Center presented by the Jayden Lamb Foundation.Â Fans are encouraged to bring their teddy bears to the arena and throw them onto the ice after the Spirit's first goal is scored.Â All plush toys will be collected and donated to families and children affected by pediatric cancer.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visitÂ www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.
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