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Game Day Preview: Spirit Welcome the Return of Paul 'BizNasty' Bissonnette Friday at the Dow

February 14, 2020 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Saginaw Spirit News Release

TV: OHL Action Pak Ch. 468 | WNEM TV 5+ (2/16, 6:00 p.m.)

Radio: 100.5 Newsradio WSGW | www.wsgw.com | iHeartRadio app

Social: #SAGvsFLNT | #SoarWithUs

Saginaw, MI. - The West Division's top-two teams face-off Friday, February 14 when the division-leading Saginaw Spirit (33-15-2-2 70 pts.) host the in-state rival Flint Firebirds (32-17-1-1 66 pts.) to begin Ice Blast Weekend at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, Michigan.  Puck Drop for the seventh installment of this season's Coors Light I-75 Divide Rivalry starts at 7:05 p.m. With a victory, the Spirit would clinch their third consecutive I-75 Divide Cup Trophy.

The Spirit hold a 4-2-0-0 record through the six matchups against the West Division rival Firebirds this season.

As a part of Ice Blast Weekend, Friday, February 14 marks the return of former Saginaw Spirit captain Paul 'BizNasty' Bissonnette to The Dow Event Center.  The former NHLer and co-host of popular Barstool Podcast 'Spittin' Chiclets' will be signing autographs for fans in the Budweiser Red Room prior to the game against the Firebirds.  Buzz and Woody from Toy Story will also be making an appearance in the Budweiser Red Room prior to puck drop against the Firebirds.

Fans can catch the action on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and www.wsgw.com with Art Lewis and the voice of Saginaw Spirit hockey Joey Battaino on the call.  "Countdown to Face-off" with host Charley Porter begins 15 minutes prior to puck drop.

To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.

The Saginaw Spirit were victorious against West Division rival Soo Greyhounds in a 7-5 decision Wednesday evening on the road.

New York Islanders signee Bode Wilde made his season debut with the Saginaw Spirit Wednesday night, after a 20-game stint with the Islanders AHL affiliate Bridgeport Sound Tigers to start the year.  The Saginaw defenseman notched his first goal of the season on the man-power advantage in the game against the Greyhounds.  The Plymouth, Michigan native is playing in his first game at The Dow Event Center since Game seven of the 2019 Western Conference Final.

Saginaw's top-line of Cole Perfetti, New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey, and Carolina Hurricanes first round pick Ryan Suzuki combined for 12 points in the victory over the Soo Greyhounds Wednesday night.

Fourth ranked 2020 NHL Draft Prospect Cole Perfetti dished out a career-high, five assists against the Soo Wednesday night, which tied a career-high for points in a game.  The Saginaw Spirit leading scorer Perfetti is second among OHL players this season with 92 points, trailing only Ottawa's Marco Rossi (94).  In six games this season against the rival Flint Firebirds, the Whitby, Ontario Perfetti has four goals and five assists for nine points.

London, Ontario native Suzuki contributed a goal with three assists in the game against the Soo.  Since his acquisition prior to the trade deadline from the Barrie Colt, Suzuki contributed a point in 11 of the 13 games played with the Saginaw Spirit.  Suzuki, the 2019 28th overall pick of the Carolina Hurricanes, has eight goals and 12 assists for 22 points in the 13 games played with his new club.

Saginaw Spirit all-time games leader Coskey became just the third player in team-history to reach the 100-goal plateau, after a two-goal effort in the game against the Greyhounds.  With an assist against the Soo, the Zion, Illinois native Coskey is just one-helper away from tying Jordan Szwarz (122) for sixth in team-history.

Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux provided the game-winning goal in the third period of Wednesday's contest against the Soo.  The goal was the Saginaw Spirit captain Giroux's team-leading 33rd goal of the season.  The Hanmer, Ontario native set career-high marks in each of the major offensive categories with 33 goals, 24 assists, and 57 points in just 51 games this season.

The Firebirds defeated the Oshawa Generals 5-3 Sunday evening to extend their team-record winning streak to 10 games.

2019 Flint Firebirds first round CHL Import Draft pick Evgeniy Oksentyuk supplied two goals and two assists in the game against the Generals Sunday night.  The Belarusian forward is second among Firebirds players with 62 points and first on the team with 37 assists this season.  Oksentyuk brings an eight-game point streak into the game against the Saginaw Spirit.

St. Louis Blues prospect Tyler Tucker scored two goals in the Firebirds 5-3 victory over the Generals on Sunday.  Tucker, who was acquired by Flint prior to the trade deadline, has five goals and seven assists from the back end since the trade from the Barrie Colts.

Flint Firebirds leading scorer Ty Dellandrea extended his point streak to three games with an assist in the matchup with Oshawa.  In just 41 games this season, the 2018 Dallas Stars 13th overall pick Dellandrea has 30 goals and 34 assists for 64 points to lead his club.

The Flint Firebirds have five players on their roster drafted by NHL clubs, forwards Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars-signed), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), defenseman Tyler Tucker (St. Louis Blues), Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), and Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers-signed).

The Firebirds have one player listed in NHL Central Scoutings 2020 NHL Draft mid-term rankings in Evgeniy Oksentyuk (79th).

The Saginaw Spirit have a total of five players on their roster with NHL ties.  Ryan Suzuki (Carolina Hurricanes-signed), Blade Jenkins (NY Islanders), Cole Coskey (NY Islanders), Mason Millman (Philadelphia), and Damien Giroux (Minnesota), and Bode Wilde (NY Islanders-signed).

Saginaw has two players listed in the NHL Central Scouting 2020 NHL Draft Mid-term rankings, including fourth ranked prospect Cole Perfetti. Ilya Solovyov is listed as the 119th North American prospect available.


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