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Preview: Spirit, Firebirds Begin Home-And-Home Set Tied for First Place in Division

December 13, 2019 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Saginaw Spirit News Release

Flint, MI. - The Saginaw Spirit (16-10-2-2, 36 pts.) renew the I-75 Divide Rivalry against in-state rival Flint Firebirds (18-11-0-0, 36 pts) in a home-and-home matchup beginning in Flint, Michigan Friday, December 13.  Puck drop for the third of eight regular season games begins at 7:00 p.m. The series is tied at one game apiece.

The Spirit and the Firebirds come into the game tied for the West Division lead with 36 points this season.  The teams split the season series with each team victorious on the road.

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

Fans can visit the Buffalo Wild Wings location at 2690 Tittabawassee Road in Saginaw and join the official "Watch Party" for all Spirit away games. Admission is free of charge.

Saginaw got back to their winning ways Thursday night with a 4-3 overtime victory over the Windsor Spitfires away from home.  The Spirit came out on top even though they were without top 2020 NHL Draft prospect Cole Perfetti, along with Ilya Solovyov, Philadelphia Flyers prospect Mason Millman, and New York Islanders prospect Blade Jenkins, who are all keys to the Saginaw Spirit success thus far.

2019 Saginaw Spirit second round pick Josh Bloom provided the overtime heroics in the victory over the Spitfires with a penalty shot goal with just 31 seconds left in the extra period.  The goal was the Spirit rookie's second of the season via the penalty shot.

New York Islanders prospect Cole Coskey notched his 15th goal of the season in Thursday's victory over Windsor.  When the overage forward plays in the game Friday against the Firebirds, he will set the team record for regular season games played as a Saginaw Spirit.

2020 NHL Draft prospect Ethan Cardwell contributed a goal in his return after serving a two-game suspension.  The Courtice, Ontario native Cardwell is fourth among OHL rookies with nine goals this season.

Flint is coming off of a 5-3 road victory Sunday evening over the North Bay Battalion.

2019 Flint Firebirds third round pick Zacharie Giroux notched his first career OHL goal in the victory over the North Bay Battalion.  The Flint rookie is the younger brother of Saginaw Spirit captain and Minnesota Wild prospect Damien Giroux.

The Firebirds will be without leading scorer Ty Dellandrea in the game against the Spirit on Friday.  Dellandrea, a 2018 Dallas Stars first round pick, is participating in the Team Canada's World Juniors camp in hopes to represent his home country in the 2020 IIHF Under-20 World Junior Championship.

2019 Flint Firebirds CHL Import Draft first round pick Evgeniy Oksentyuk has a point in each of the games against the Spirit this season.  The Belarusian forward is tied with Dellandrea for the team lead with 20 assists this season.

The Flint Firebirds have four players on their roster drafted by NHL clubs, forwards Ty Dellandrea (Dallas Stars), Ethan Keppen (Vancouver Canucks), defenseman Dennis Busby (Arizona Coyotes), and Vladislav Kolyachonok (Florida Panthers).

The Saginaw Spirit have a total of four players on their roster with NHL ties. Blade Jenkins (NY Islanders), Cole Coskey (NY Islanders), Mason Millman (Philadelphia Flyers), and Damien Giroux (Minnesota Wild).

Saginaw has two players listed in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting 'Players to Watch' list, including 'A' prospect Cole Perfetti. Rookie Ilya Solovyov is listed as a 'C' prospect.  Flint forward Evan Vierling was also listed as a 'C' prospect in the 2020 NHL Central Scouting 'Players to Watch list'.

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.  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.  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, visit www.saginawspirit.com, or visit the Saginaw Spirit Store at 5789 State Street, Saginaw MI.


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