Saginaw Spirit

Spirit Start Road Swing in Brantford Friday Night

March 1, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL)
Saginaw Spirit News Release

Saginaw, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit (41-15-0-1) complete their season series against the Brantford Bulldogs (32-16-7-2) on March 1st at the Brantford Civic Centre.

Tonight's Game:

Puck drop is at 7:00 PM



Phone: (989) 497-7747

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


Television: CHL TV, CHL App, OHL Action Pak Ch. 466

Radio: 100.5 FM WSGW,

Last Time:

Both teams' last game was their meeting with one another on February 24th, where Saginaw finished off a 5-4 overtime victory at the Dow Event Center. Brantford opened the game with back-to-back goals halfway through the first period and held that lead into the second. Saginaw and Brantford scored halfway through the second before the Spirit scored with 34 seconds left in the period. After two late goals by Saginaw, they led by one with four minutes left. A Bulldogs' goal with just over 1:30 left in the game sent both teams to overtime, where Zayne Parekh scored after just 35 seconds to secure the 5-4 win.

Rodwin Dionicio scored twice, and Sebastien Gervais scored his ninth of the season. Matyas Sapovaliv and Michael Misa finished with two assists, and Zayne Parekh finished with two points (1G, 1A). Nolan Lalonde started for Saginaw and fought off 22 of Brantford's 26 shots.

Marek Vanacker netted a hat trick in a four-point performance (3G, 1A), Florian Xhekaj scored his 29th, and Zakary Lavoie helped with two assists. Matteo Drobac kept Brantford in the game, stopping 53 of 58 shots in the loss.

Players to Watch:

Zayne Parekh leads Saginaw in both points (81) and assists (51) while being tied for sixth in OHL points (most among any defensemen) and tied for fourth in OHL assists (second among OHL defensemen). Parekh's 28 goals come only second to Owen Beck, whose 29 goals lead the team. Beck has proved to be a valuable addition to the Spirit, notching 33 points (13G, 20A) in just 21 games since joining Saginaw. The Montreal prospect also continues to add to a nine-game points streak (8G-8-A-16P). Fellow trade acquisition Rodwin Dionicio has also been productive, netting 17 goals and 23 assists for an even 40 points through 33 games with the Spirit. Andrew Oke leads Saginaw in all major goaltending categories, including a 3.04 goals-against average (GAA) (fourth in the OHL), a .887 save percentage (SV%), 23 wins, and one shutout.

Brantford is led by winger Marek Vanacker, who leads the Bulldogs in both goals (30) and points (69). Nick Lardis and Floriah Xhekaj sit just one goal back at 29 and have both played well-rounded hockey heading into the tail end of the season. Rookie Jake O'Brien currently leads the team in assists (43) and is second in the OHL rookie point race by adding 11 goals. Matteo Drobac has manned the ship 44 times this season for Brantford and has a 3.21 GAA (eighth in the OHL), a .894 SV% (ninth in the OHL), 25 wins (tied for third in the OHL), and three (3) shutouts (tied for second 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 currently 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), Tomáš Hamara (Ottawa), and Daniil Sobolev (Montreal).

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