The Saginaw Spirit (38-15-2-3) picked up a couple crucial points in the Ontario Hockey League standings with a 6-3 victory over the Hamilton Bulldogs (27-28-3-2) in front of 4,195 at the First Ontario Centre in Hamilton, ON tonight.
The Spirit managed to draw first blood in a crazy opening frame when Saginaw forward Jake Goldowski (11) split the Hamilton defense, scoring his eleventh goal of the season with assists coming from D.J. Busdeker and Camaryn Baber for a 1-0 Saginaw lead at 6:39 of the first period, but the Bulldogs answered quickly when Jan Jenik (9) tied the game at 1-goal apiece just 46-seconds later at the 7:25 mark.
Saginaw would pull back ahead midway through the opening frame when Nicholas Porco (19) scored right off a face off with assists coming from Albert Michnac and Justin Murray for a 2-1 Spirit lead, while Hamilton responded quickly once again when Janik (10) scored his second of the night just 27-seconds later, knotting the game at 2-goals apiece at 10:46 of the first, before Bulldogs' forward Eric Henderson (13) followed with his thirteenth goal of the season to give Hamilton a 3-2 lead, chasing Spirit starter Tristan Lennox in favor of Ivan Prosvetov at 11:25 of the opening period.
The Spirit closed out the opening 20-minutes with three more unanswered goals when Perfetti (28) scored his twenty-eighth of the season from Owen Tippett and Murray to tie the game at 3-goals apiece at 13:56 of the first period, setting a franchise record for most goals by a rookie, while Bode Wilde (16) followed by scoring with a blast from the point from Perfetti and Tippett for a 4-3 Saginaw lead at 14:38 of the first period, which would chase Hamilton starter Nick Donofrio for Zachary Roy, before Perfetti (29) added his second goal of the night from Ryan McLeod and Tippett at the 18:48 mark, sending the Spirit into the first intermission with a 5-3 lead.
After a scoreless middle frame, the Spirit put the game out of reach late in the final frame when Tippett (30) scored an empty net goal from Blade Jenkins at 18:03 of the third period.
The Spirit will close out a 3-game eastern conference swing with a 6:05 pm face off against the Oshawa Generals at the Tribute Communities Centre in Oshawa, ON tomorrow evening, before finishing the road trip with a big visit to GFL Memorial Gardens for a 7:05 pm face off against the Soo Greyhounds Wednesday night.