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 Saginaw Spirit

Spirit Host Bulldogs Saturday on First Responders Night

February 24, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Saginaw Spirit News Release


Saginaw, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit (40-15-0-1) will host the Brantford Bulldogs (32-16-6-2) on February 24th, at the Dow Event Center.

Tonight's Game:

Puck drop is at 7:05pm.

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:

The Saginaw Spirit welcomed the North Bay Battalion to the Dow Event Center on Friday, February 23rd. Sandis Vilmanis opened up the scoring, giving the Battalion the first lead of the night. Sebastien Gervais scored the first Spirit goal of the game but 10 seconds later Brice Cooke scored another goal for North Bay. Joey Willis scored a goal late in the second period followed by Anthony Romani scoring 50 seconds later. Justin Ertel scored another goal for North Bay to extend their lead to 4-2 going into the third period. James Guo scored his first goal of the season in the third but Sandis Vilmanis scored two more goals in the third for the hattrick to give North Bay the 6-3 victory over Saginaw. Nolan Lalonde started in net for the Spirit saving 26 of 32 shots on goal. Dom Divincentiis started in net for the Battalion saving 34 of 37 shots on goal.

The Brantford Bulldogs traveled to the Dort Financial Center to take on the Flint Firebirds on Friday, February 23rd. Zakary Lavoie scored the first two goals of the game, giving Brantford a 2-0 lead early in the third period. Tristan Bertucci and Jimmy Lombardi scored two goals for Flint in the third, tying the game at two. Florian Xhekaj scored the game winning goal with one minute left in the game to give the Brantford Bulldogs a 3-2 victory. Matteo Drobac saved 35 of 37 shots on goal for the Bulldogs while Nathan Day saved 18 of 21 shots on goal for the Firebirds.

Last Season:

The Spirit went 2-0 last year against the Bulldogs, with their last meeting being on March 18th 2023 at the Dow Event Center. It was back and forth in the first period with Sahil Panwar scoring first, followed by PJ Forgione who was then followed by Artem Grushnikov. Saginaw soon went on to score three goals coming from Hunter Haight, Calem Mangone, and Sebastien Gervais. Lucas Moore scored one last goal for Hamilton but Hunter Haight scored on an empty net to win the game 5-2. Andrew Oke started in net for the Spirit saving 27 of 30 shots on goal. Tristan Malboeuf started in net for the Bulldogs saving 31 of 35 shots on goal.

Players to Watch

Zayne Parekh continues to lead Saginaw in both points (79) and assists (52). Owen Beck currently leads the Spirit in goals (29), and rides an eight game point streak into Saturday night's game (8G-7A-15P). Andrew Okecurrently 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.

Marek Vanacker leads the Brantford Bulldogs in points (64) with Nick Lardis leading in goals (29) and Rookie Jake O'Brien leading in assists (40). O'Brien also leads all OHL rookies in assists and points (51). Matteo Drobac leads in all major goaltending categories for the Bulldogs, including a 3.17 GAA, a .893 SV%, 25 wins, and three shutouts which is tied for third in the OHL.

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).

Brantford has six (6) players tied to the National Hockey League (NHL), including Nick Lardis (Chicago), Florian Xhekaj (Montreal), Cole Brown (New Jersey), Patrick Thomas (Washington), Daniil Sobolev (Montreal), and Tomas Hamara (Ottawa).


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