Spirit Shocks Troops 9-1
SAGINAW, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit erupted for six second-period goals, including four in a span of 2:21, and thumped the North Bay Battalion 9-1 in Ontario Hockey League action Friday night.
Nicholas Porco scored two goals and added one assist, and Cole Perfetti and Mason Millman each had one goal and three assists. Cole Coskey produced one goal and two assists, and Blade Jenkins and D.J. Busdeker had one goal and one assist apiece. Davis Codd and Ethan Cardwell each scored a goal, while goaltender Marshall Frappier made 22 saves.
Saginaw, which posted a third consecutive win, improved its won-lost-extended record to 7-4-1 for 15 points, tied with the Windsor Spitfires atop the West Division and Western Conference.
Luke Moncada scored for North Bay, 3-7-0 for six points, tied with the Mississauga Steelheads for fourth place in the Central Division. The Troops' 23 shots were the fewest they've managed after generating 24 in a 3-0 home-ice loss to the Barrie Colts in the season opener Sept. 20.
Starting goaltender Christian Cicigoi, who was relieved in the second period but returned for the third, gave up six goals on 29 shots. Reece Proulx, making his OHL debut after being recalled for the weekend, which features three road games, allowed three goals on eight shots before 2,487 at the Dow Event Center.
Moncada scored his fifth goal of the season, tying Matthew Struthers for the team lead, to tie the game 1-1 at 2:04 of the middle period before the floodgates opened.
Codd netted what proved to be the winner at 4:09, tipping a right-point shot through traffic by Reilly Webb, and Coskey scored his ninth goal at 4:51 on a one-timer from the left-wing circle. Porco snapped the puck low past Cicigoi's blocker 19 seconds later for Saginaw's third goal in the space of 1:01, bringing Proulx off the bench.
Cardwell cruised across the goalmouth and chipped a Damien Giroux feed from the left corner behind Proulx at 6:30 to make it 5-1. Perfetti struck on the power play at 11:29, snapping the rubber home from the right faceoff dot, and Busdeker hammered a drive from the left point that glanced off defender Braden Henderson's stick at 15:27.
With Cicigoi back in the crease, defenceman Millman put home a left-point shot at 6:05 of the final period before Porco potted a power-play goal from the left boards at 17:22 to complete the barrage.
The Battalion had no answer in the third period, with the best it could muster being a shot off the outside of the left post by Mitchell Russell and a solid chance in the slot for a driving Paul Christopoulos at 15:15. Cicigoi made a good save against D.J. King at the right post in the 16th minute.
Jenkins opened the scoring with four seconds left in the first period after the teams skated through a fast-paced frame. He took a pass from the end boards deep in the right circle and put the puck toward the net, seeing it pop over Cicigoi and barely cross the goal line. Coskey and Millman had assists on Jenkins's fourth goal.
The Troops, although outshot 12-4, deserved a better result from the first 20 minutes, as they forechecked ferociously early. Saginaw's Camaryn Baber recorded the first shot on goal at the five-minute mark, and the Battalion's first shot came from Christopoulos in the 11th minute.
Each team threatened on a power play in the latter half of the frame, but the four shots were the fewest by North Bay in a period this season. The Troops had six on three previous occasions.
The Battalion visits the Flint Firebirds at 7 p.m. Saturday in the second game of the road swing. The game can be seen live on YourTV Channels 12 and 700 and heard on Country 600 CKAT.
BATTALION BULLETS: The Battalion has an all-time won-lost-tied record against the Saginaw franchise, formerly the North Bay Centennials, of 19-23-1 ... With Joe Vrbetic home sick, Proulx was up from the affiliated junior A Pembroke Lumber Kings of the Central Canada Hockey League. Proulx was an 11th-round choice in the 2018 OHL Priority Selection from the North Bay Trappers minor midgets ... North Bay's Brad Chenier saw the end of an eight-game points streak during which he recorded three goals and seven assists for 10 points and a six-game assists streak in which he had six assists ... Struthers had a three-game points streak, in which he scored four goals and added five assists for nine points, ended ... Opening lines featured Struthers centring left winger Chenier and right winger Brandon Coe, Mason Primeau centring left winger Kyle Jackson and right winger Russell and Moncada pivoting left winger Harrison Caines and Liam Arnsby on right wing. Cameron Peters centred left winger Josh Currie and right winger Alex Christopoulos ... Jackson marked his 17th birthday Thursday ... Apart from Vrbetic, North Bay was without Simon Rose, Niki Korpialho and Nick King ... The Battalion went 0-for-3 on the power play. Saginaw was 2-for-4 ... Giroux, who drew two assists, had scored two goals in each of the previous two games ... The referees were Joe Celestin and Carter Sandlak.
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