Preview: After Six Day Break, Spirit Host Greyhounds to Open Round Two
Saginaw, MI - Round two of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) Playoffs begin Friday, April 5 for the West Division Champion Saginaw Spirit. The second-seed Spirit take on the third-seed Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds at The Dow Event Center in Saginaw, MI. Opening puck drop is set for 7:05 p.m.
Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie split their regular season series, but an overtime loss on March 14 was the point the Spirit needed to dethrone the Hounds as West Division Champions. The round two match-up will be a rematch of last season's first round that the Greyhounds take the series in four games.
Watch live on OHLLive.com or listen live on the flagship WSGW Newsradio 100.5 FM and fmtalk1005.com with the voice of the Saginaw Spirit Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers on the call. "Countdown to Faceoff" with host Domenic Papa starts 15 minutes prior to puck drop.
To purchase tickets to any Saginaw Spirit home game call (989) 497-7747, visit saginawspirit.com, or by visiting the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw, MI.
Both teams made quick work of their first-round opponents to secure the second-round spots. The Soo defeated the sixth-seed Owen Sound Attack in five games, whereas the Spirit swept the seventh-seed Sarnia Sting with wins in four straight games.
The Spirit benefitted from excellent first rounds by mid-season acquisitions Owen Tippett and Justin Murray.
Tippett, a Florida Panthers 2017 first-round pick, led Saginaw with a dominant first round performance. The Peterborough, Ontario native scored a team-high five goals and eight points against the Sting in the first round.
Tippett trails just Adam Boqvist of the London Knights in goals through the first round of the OHL's post-season. The right-winger was acquired from the Mississauga Steelheads before the trade deadline.
Overage defenseman Murray had five points in the first round of the post-season. The former Barrie Colts captain has been consistent at both ends with a plus/minus of plus-three in the playoffs.
Saginaw Spirit first round pick Cole Perfetti has come up big in his first post-season appearance. The rookie had two goals and two assists through three playoff games against the Sting. The left-winger scored four goals and three assists in the regular season against the Greyhounds.
Goaltender Ivan Prosvetov has been huge for the Spirit in the first round of the playoffs. The Arizona Coyotes fourth round pick finished the series with a 2.15 goals against average and a .937 save percentage.
Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour has been a consistent performer throughout his post-season career. Gilmour has at least one point in six of his last seven playoff games, including back-to-back two assist performances in Games three and four of the opening round series against Sarnia. In total, Gilmour finished the first round series with six points.
The Grafton, Ontario native Gilmour had a goal and three assists in the first round series his rookie season in 2016, in a four-game series defeat to the Erie Otters.
Saginaw's top-ranked short-handed unit has killed all 15 penalties against them in the first round series. The Spirit penalty kill scored a playoff team-record three short-handed goals in game three versus the Sting.
The first short-handed tally in game three was scored by Saginaw team captain Damien Giroux. The Minnesota Wild prospect is second on the Spirit with four goals in the four first round games.
After losing game one in overtime, Sault Ste. Marie won four straight games against Owen Sound to close out their first round series.
2018 Arizona Coyotes fifth overall pick Barrett Hayton has been strong throughout his career in the playoffs. The Soo captain leads the Greyhounds in points (10) and plus/minus (+8) in the post-season.
The Peterborough, Ontario native Hayton had 21 points for the Greyhounds that led to an OHL Championship Series appearance in 2018.
With nine points in the first round, Philadelphia Flyers signee Morgan Frost trails Hayton by just one-point for the Soo points lead. Frost, a 2017 first round pick of the Flyers, led the Greyhounds with 109 points in the regular season.
Brighton, Michigan native Keeghan Howdeshell leads all Soo Greyhound players in the first round with five goals. The overage left-winger led the Greyhounds with 46 goals in the regular season. Howdeshell collected four goals and two assists against the Spirit in seven regular season games.
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Mac Hollowell led all OHL defensemen in the regular season with 24 goals and 77 points. The overage defenseman had four points in the five first round games against the Owen Sound Attack.
The Soo Greyhounds have four players with rights owned by NHL clubs, forwards Morgan Frost (Philadelphia Flyers-signed), Barrett Hayton (Arizona Coyotes-signed), defenseman Mac Hollowell (Toronto Maple Leafs-signed), and goaltender Matthew Villalta (Los Angeles Kings-signed).
The Spirit also boasts eight players drafted by NHL clubs, forwards Brady Gilmour (Detroit Red Wings), Blade Jenkins (New York Islanders), Owen Tippett (Florida Panthers-signed), Ryan McLeod (Edmonton Oilers), Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild), defensemen Reilly Webb (Detroit Red Wings), Bode Wilde (New York Islanders-signed), and goaltender Ivan Prosvetov (Arizona Coyotes).
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Ontario Hockey League Stories from April 5, 2019
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- Harley and Washkurak Earn Spots on Canada's Under-18 Training Camp Roster - Mississauga Steelheads
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- OHL to Honour the Memory of Roy Pejcinovski in 2019 Priority Selection - OHL
- Petes Swap Picks with Otters Ahead of 2019 OHL Priority Selection - Peterborough Petes
- Preview: After Six Day Break, Spirit Host Greyhounds to Open Round Two - Saginaw Spirit
- Frontenacs Make "Wright" Choice with First Overall Pick - Kingston Frontenacs
- Frontenacs Announce Shane Wright as First Overall Pick in the 2019 OHL Priority Selection - OHL
- Kitchener Rangers and Niagara IceDogs Complete Trade - Kitchener Rangers
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