Spirit Wrap Three-In-Three at Sault Ste. Marie

February 11, 2024 - Ontario Hockey League (OHL) - Saginaw Spirit News Release

Saginaw, Mich. - The Saginaw Spirit (36-13-0-1) visit the Sault Ste. Maire Greyhounds (33-14-2-1) in a heavyweight west division matchup at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Sunday, February 11th.

Today's Game:

Puck drop is at 2:07 PM


Television: CHL TV, CHL App

Radio: 100.5 FM WSGW,

Last Time:

Saginaw's last game was a 5-2 home win against the Erie Otters on February 10th. The Spirit opened the first period with two quick goals before the Otters responded with one of their own, setting a 2-1 scoreline entering the second. Erie scored first in the second tying up the game before Saginaw scored twice, going up 4-2 heading into the third. Early in the final period, the Spirit scored again and held the 5-2 scoreline until the end. Owen Beck completed his 15th multi-point game collecting one goal and two assists, Rodwin Dionicio lit the lamp twice, and Josh Bloom finished with two points (1G, 1A) and drew three penalties. Nolan Lalonde started for Saginaw, continuing his winning streak to 14 games and hitting his 50th win of his career, turning away 26 of 28 shots.

Sault Ste. Marie last played on February 10th at the GFL Memorial Gardens, where they outlasted the Niagara IceDogs 2-1 on Friday night. The Greyhounds and the IceDogs scored early into the first, setting a 1-1 tie going into the second. The Soo scored about halfway into the second period, taking a 2-1 lead into the third. Despite Niagara's best efforts, Sault Ste. Marie held off the IceDogs to complete the win. Bryce McConnell-Barker scored his 16th goal of the season, and Jacob Frasca added his 11th. Gavin Hayes, Matthew Virgilio, Justin Cloutier, and Brady Martin all added assists, while Landon Miller shut down 16 of 17 shots.

This Season:

Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie have met six times this season, with Saginaw being (2-3-0-1) in those games. The road team has won all six decisions so far this season; October 27th was a 5-4 Soo shoutout win, November 29th was a 4-2 Soo win, December 1st was a 3-1 road Saginaw win, December 28th was a 5-2 road win by the Soo, and New Year's Eve saw Saginaw complete a 4-3 win on the road.

The most recent game was a 5-3 road Sault Ste. Marie win on January 31st. Saginaw scored the first three goals of the game before the Soo got on the board setting a 3-1 Spirit lead heading into the final period. The Greyhounds then rattled off four goals in a row including two powerplay goals cruising away with a 5-3 victory. Gavin Hayes and Bryce McConnell-Barker both had two-point nights (1G, 1A) with Marco Mignosa and Jack Beck both collecting two assists for the Greyhounds. Joey Willis scored twice for Saginaw with Calem Mangone adding his 16th goal of the year for the Spirit. Charlie Schenkel started for the Soo stopping 21 of 24 shots, while Andrew Oke guarded the goal mouth for Saginaw grabbing 29 of 34 shots.

Players to Watch

Zayne Parekh continues his productive draft-eligible season, currently leading Saginaw in points (73), tied for first in goals (25), and leading in assists (48). Parekh's numbers are good for fifth in the OHL points race and fifth in OHL assists, while placing him as the league's top scoring defenseman. His current point total sits four points behind Patrick McNeill for the most in a single season by a Spirit defenseman (77 points, 2005-2006).

Michael Misa is the other half of the Saginaw goal lead, notching 25 goals, including a team-leading ten powerplay goals. Over the past ten games, Matyas Sapovaliv has collected 14 points (3G, 11A), including two overtime-winning goals on back-to-back nights on February 3rd and 4th. Both Saginaw goalies have been stellar, with Andrew Oke leading in all major goaltending categories, including 3.08 goals against average (GAA), an .887 save percentage (SV%), and 21 wins, good for fourth in the OHL. NolanLalonde has continued his winning streak to 14 games, stretching his franchise record.

Jack Beck leads the Greyhounds in points (62) and assists (43) while adding 19 goals from his winger position. Gavin Hayes leads the team in goals (28) and is tied for ninth in the OHL goals race. Bryce McConnell-Barker has collected 16 points (7G, 9A) over the past 10 games, including the game's first goal on Friday night. Arttu Karki has netted 12 powerplay goals this season, tying him for fourth in the OHL. Rookie Landon Miller has jumped out to a fantastic campaign, compiling a 2.80 GAA, a 0.891 SV%, 11 wins, and two shutouts in 21 games. In comparison, Charlie Schenkel holds a competitive 3.11 GAA, .886 SV%, and 22 wins, tying him for second in OHL wins.

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).

Sault Ste. Marie currently has six (6) players tied to the National Hockey League (NHL), including Jack Beck (Calgary), Bryce McConnell-Barker (NY Rangers), Gavin Hayes (Chicago), Andrew Gibson (Detroit), Kirill Kudryavtsev (Vancouver), and Arttu Karki (Vegas).

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