Spirit, Firebirds Do Battle on CHL TV Game of the Week Presented by Kubota
Flint, MI - After an extremely successful three-game road swing that saw the club earn five of six points, the Saginaw Spirit return to The Dow Event Center Wednesday night, October 27th, to face their in-state rival Flint Firebirds for the 'CHL Game of the Week' presented by Kubota. This is the second of 12 meetings between the two teams this season playing for the Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup.
The trip began last Wednesday night, when the Spirit drew first blood in the rivalry series with Flint, skating to a 5-3 victory at Dort Financial Center. The victory for Saginaw was their ninth straight in the home of the Firebirds, with the Spirit earning at least one point in their last 14 trips to the corner of Lapeer and Averill.
Despite the Firebirds getting out to a 2-0 lead in the opening 10 minutes, the resilient Spirit pressed on, tying the score before the conclusion of the period on first OHL goals from Evan Klein and Luke McNamara. Dmitry Kuzmin of the Firebirds and Matyas Sapovaliv of the Spirit exchanged goals in the second period, making the score 3-3 going into the third. Buffalo Sabres prospect Josh Bloom put Saginaw in the lead for good when he cashed in on a two-on-one with Grand Blanc native Dalton Duhart just 51 seconds into the third period. Calem Mangone added on a third period tally to insure the Spirit Road victory.
It was off to Erie for two games this past weekend, where they earned three of a possible four points. Saturday night, the Spirit faced the Otters in a hostile Erie Insurance Arena for their home opener. The Otters opened the scored at 9:10 of the opening period on a goal from Brendan Hoffman. The Otters held that lead until 7:23 of the second period, when Matyas Sapovaliv scored on a setup from Josh Bloom and Mitchell Smith. In a 1-1 score, the Spirit went ahead on the first OHL goal for Pavel Mintyukov at 0:36 of the third period. Elias Cohen tied it up at 7:36 of the third period. Just 36 seconds later, overage Nick Wong scored his first goal as a Spirit to put Saginaw in a 3-2 advantage. Brett Bressette tied the game at 13:55. With the game going into overtime, the Otters were awarded a penalty shot as Brendan Sellan was fouled going in for a scoring opportunity. Sellan made a move from the backhand to the forehand to fool Spirit goaltender Andrew Oke and give the Otters the extra point.
The Saginaw Spirit finished their three-game road trip Sunday afternoon with a 6-4 victory over the Erie Otters. Calumet, MI native Dean Loukus scored his first, second, and third career OHL goals to lead the Spirit. Andrew Oke picked up his first career win in net, coming in to the game in relief of Tristan Lennox in the first period and making 15 saves.
Flint has been off since last Wednesday's engagement with the Spirit, but will be busy this week. After tonight's battle with the Spirit, they head to Erie, Pennsylvania for two games with the Otters on Friday and Saturday Night.
After four games in seven days, the Spirit will enjoy Halloween weekend off and return to the ice Wednesday, November 3rd on the road against the Soo Greyhounds.
Tonight's broadcastÂ is free of charge onÂ CHL TV as part of the 'CHL TV Game of the Week' presented by Kubota, featuring free viewing of marquee matchups across all three leagues of the CHL.
Locally, the game will be aired live on the radio home of the Saginaw Spirit, 100.5 WSGW-FM and WSGW.com with the voices of the Spirit, Joey Battaino and Dennis Desrosiers. Art Lewis will be downstairs getting insights from players and coaches, as well as keeping fans up to speed with the stats during intermission.
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