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 Saginaw Spirit

Spirit Host Battalion Friday Night, Retire Saad's #22

February 23, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Saginaw Spirit News Release


Saginaw, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit (40-14-0-1) continue a three-game homestand against the North Bay Battalion (28-18-6-2) on Friday night as they kick off Ice Blast Weekend.

Tonight's Game:

Pregame ceremonies honoring Brandon Saad will begin at 7:05pm. Puck drop against the Battalion is set for 7:35pm.

Tickets:

Ticketmaster

Phone: (989) 497-7747

In-Person: Saginaw Spirit Store (6321 State St.), Dow Event Center Box Office

Broadcast:

Television: CHL TV, CHL App, OHL Action Pak Ch. 470

Radio: 100.5 FM WSGW, WSGW.com

Last Time:

Saginaw's last game was a 3-1 win over the Flint Firebirds on Wednesday night. Saginaw slammed their foot on the pedal early, with a goal late into the first period and two early into the second. Flint scored their lone goal of the contest late into the second, and the Spirit held off the Firebirds for the remainder of the game to secure their 40th win of the season. Aidan Castle finished with two points (1G, 1A), Matyas Sapovaliv scored his 16th, and Owen Beck netted his team-leading 29th of the season. Alex Christopoulos assisted on every Saginaw goal (0G, 3A), and Nolan Lalonde finished off his 16th straight victory, stopping 27 of 28 saves in the win.

North Bay's last game was a 6-3 road loss to the Ottawa 67's on Monday, February 19th. Each team held serve in the first and second periods, entering the third period knotted at two apiece. Ottawa scored two goals early in the third before North Bay responded, returning the Battalion to within one. Late into the third, the 67's sealed the game with back-to-back empty net goals, finishing a 6-3 win.

Ihnat Pazii and Andrew LeBlanc scored unassisted goals for North Bay, with LeBlanc adding an assist. Dalyn Wakely netted his 28th of the season, and rookie Mike McIvor started for the Battalion, shutting down 33 of 37 shots.

This Season:

Saginaw and North Bay last saw each other earlier in the week for game one of their two-game series, with the Spirit exiting the North Bay Memorial Gardens with a 5-3 win. Saginaw jumped out to a striking lead, scoring four straight goals in the first and entering the first intermission up 4-0. North Bay scored the only goal in the second, setting a 4-1 Saginaw lead entering the third. The battalion scored twice in the front half of the final period, getting them within one. Finally, the Spirit scored 10:10 into the period and held off the Battalion to finish the road victory.

Josh Bloom scored two goals in his first multi-goal game of the season, Rodwin Dionicio (1G, 1A) and Zayne Parekh (1G, 1A) both finished with two-point nights, and Owen Beck collected two assists, including on Ethan Hay's game-winning goal. Andrew Oke started in net, grabbing 21 saves on 24 shots for his 23rd win of the year.

Justin Ertel netted a shorthanded goal 15 seconds into the second period, Owen Van Steensel collected his 30th of the season on the powerplay, and Brice Cooke scored his tenth halfway through the third. Ty Nelson collected two assists, and Dom DiVincentiis stopped 28 of 33 shots.

Players to Watch

Zayne Parekh continues to lead Saginaw in both points (79) and assists (52) while being first in points among all OHL defensemen. Owen Beck now leads the Spirit in goals (29), all while continuing a seven (7) game point streak stretching back to February 9th. Beck has compiled 14 points (8G, 6A) in those seven games, setting a 2.00 points per game pace. Josh Bloom continues to shine, netting six goals in his last six games and adding a pair of assists. Andrew Oke currently leads Saginaw in all major goaltending categories, including a 3.04 goals against average (GAA) (tied for third in the OHL), a .887 save percentage (SV%), 23 wins, and one shutout earlier in the month. Nolan Lalonde has been the model of consistency, recently extending his win streak to 16 games.

North Bay's Anthony Romani continues to have a fantastic season. The Battalion winger's 86 points and team-leading 44 goals rank second among all OHL players, making him a force to be reckoned with. Dalyn Wakely has collected 49 assists for North Bay, placing him in a tie for fifth in the. Owen Van Steensel has been on a six-game point streak since February 3rd. In those half-dozen games, Van Steensel collected 14 points (7G, 7G). Seattle prospect Ty Nelson has been productive on the powerplay, netting seven goals from the blue line, placing him sixth among all OHL defensemen. Dom DiVincentiis currently leads all major North Bay goaltending categories, sporting a 3.30 GAA, a .888 SV%, 18 wins, and one shutout.

Saginaw currently has ten (10) players tied to the National Hockey League (NHL), including Joey Willis (Nashville), Josh Bloom (Vancouver), Matyas Sapovaliv (Vegas), Hunter Haight (Minnesota), Owen Back (Montreal), Ethan Hay (Tampa Bay), Braden Haché (Florida), Jorian Donovan (Ottawa), Rodwin Dionicio (Anaheim) and Nolan Lalonde (Columbus, FA).

North Bay currently has six (6) players tied to the National Hockey League (NHL), including Justin Ertel (Dallas), Liam Arnsby (Florida), Sandis Vilmanis (Florida), Tnias Mathurin (Detroit), Ty Nelson (Seattle), and Dom DiVincentiis (Winnipeg).


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