Spirit Comeback to Edge Hounds in Overtime
ANDREW FRITSCH entered Wednesday's game with the Saginaw Spirit having points in four consecutive games. For him and his Greyhound teammates they faced a "4-point game" as the Hounds and Spirit entered tied in the West Division standings with 21 points respectively.
The Hounds were coming off a 9-2 drubbing of the Sarnia Sting on Sunday Night, while their I-75 counterparts were losers of two straight.
JUSTIN NICHOLS would start his 3rd consecutive game for the locals, while fellow netminder MATT MURRAY stood by on the team's bench after battling the flu through recent days.
Just 2:17 into the first period, NICHOLS made one of his many first period stops shutting the door down to his left in the early scoreless contests.
That's where FRITSCH's offensive would come in to play shortly after.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER led the play deep into the Saginaw zone at the 4:16 mark before dishing the puck to FRITSCH in the slot and he would make no mistake going gloveside on the Spirit's Jake Paterson for his 10th goal of the season and a 1-0 lead.
With the Greyhound lead, NICHOLS would keep the score favouring the Hounds first turning aside Eric Locke on a breakaway and then the 2nd attempt from Justin Kea seconds later with a big glove save. He and his teammates would be rewarded.
RYAN SPROUL, who returned to the line-up after missing 16 games due to injury, faked a right point shot before finding FRITSCH in front for a shot that beat Paterson and gave the Hounds a 2-0 lead. NICK COUSINS picked up his 35th point of the year with another assist on the play.
The later after Saginaw's Dalton Young was turned aside the Hounds turned the rush into 2-on-1 the other way where SERGEY TOLCHINSKY found DAVID BROLL from the right wing, but a pad stop by the Spirit tender kept it a 2-0 lead for the Hounds after one period of play.
BROLL, TOLCHINSKY and JARED MCCANN started the 2nd period with jump for the locals in the opening minute.
Less than three minutes in, TRENT MALLETTE's hard work down low saw him find COLIN MILLER at the point but his shot went off the right post low, and denied the Hounds from extending their lead.
Terry Trafford pulled Saginaw within a goal midway through the period skated off the left wing before lifting a shot gloveside and the lead was down to a goal through forty minutes of play.
The Hounds one and only powerplay of the game came less than two minutes into the third. TOLCHINSKY would fire a shot that was tipped by MCCANN early in the advantage but Paterson's pad stop denied the Hounds of extending the lead.
But while on the same advantage RYAN SPROUL left a left point shot go that found it's way through traffic and to the back of the net for a 3-1 Hounds lead.
Saginaw would be held to just three shots for in the opening 10:07 of the period.
Then with less than eight minutes to play Saginaw leading-scorer Vincent Trocheck fired a shot from the near circle at 12:39, and then Justin Kea from the point notched his 6th of the year to even the score at three.
Despite outshooting Saginaw 20-6 in the third, the two teams would be forced to overtime. Heading into the extra session the Hounds held a record of 3-1, while the Spirit were 1-2.
Two minutes into overtime (2:33) Trafford would score his second of the night propelling the visitors to a come-from-behind 4-3 victory over the Hounds.
The loss to Saginaw was the Hounds first of the season while dropping them to 10-12-2-0 overall.
It's now on the road for a pair of contest this weekend for the Hounds as they travel to Sudbury Friday (7:35 p.m.) and Barrie Saturday (7:30 p.m.). You can hear all the action starting with the Bay Mills Resort & Casinos pre-game show 1/2 hour prior to puck drop on Rock 101.
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