Despite an impressive month of November, the Saginaw Spirit fell to the Sarnia Sting 5-3 in the fourth-of-four road games in front of 2,885 fans at the RBC Centre in Sarnia, Ontario last night. The Spirit (11-8-1-1) remain tied with the Windsor Spitfires for second-place in the west division of the OHL’s western conference with 24 points apiece.
Spirit captain, Eric Locke (2013 Buffalo Sabres NHL draft pick) tied the game at one goal apiece, scoring his eighth goal of the season at 7:41 of the first period. After Sarnia took a 2-1 first period lead, Saginaw’s second-year red-hot Russian, Andrey Alexeev banged home his ninth goal of the season to tie the game at two goals apiece; unfortunately the Sting scored a third goal to take a 3-2 lead after one period of play.
Spirit winger, Justin Kea (2013 Buffalo Sabres NHL draft pick) was whistled for a 2-minute kneeing penalty at 6:22 of the second period. With :23 seconds remaining in the Kea minor penalty, Saginaw second-year defenseman, Brandon Prophet was then whistled for a 2-minute holding penalty at 8:05 of the second period, creating a 5-on-3 two-man advantage for Sarnia. The Spirit were successful in killing the :23 second two-man advantage, but Sarnia’s Nickolas Latta scored the eventual game winning goal at 8:26 of the second period, just :21 seconds after killing the Stings 5-on-3 advantage. Latta’s power play goal was the nail in the coffin for the Spirit. The Sting added another goal in the third period for a 5-2 lead; while Saginaw’s Cody Payne (2011 Dallas Stars/via Boston Bruins NHL draft pick) scored his eleventh goal of the season at 15:13 of the final period; which gave the Spirit a glimmer of hope, but it just wasn’t enough. Spirit goalie, Jake Paterson (2012 Detroit Red Wings NHL draft pick) was stellar in net as usual for Saginaw, stopping 39-of Sarnia’s-44 shots on goal Friday night.
The Spirit will try to rebound as they host the Mississauga Steel Heads for a 7:11 faceoff at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw tonight.
Balanced Spirit scoring attack in November:
The Saginaw Spirit are playing some very balanced hockey in the month of November. Captain, Eric Locke leads the team with 5-goals, 6-assists, for 11- points in the month of November. Veteran’s Kristoff Kontos (1-goal, 8-asst, 9-points) and Cody Payne (5-goals, 3-assists, 8- points) are close behind Locke; while Kea (5-goals, 2-assists, 7-points), and Alexeev (4-goals, 2-assists, 6-points) have also contributed this month. Three players; Terry Trafford, Nick Moutrey, and Veteran defenseman, Jacob Ringuette all have 5-points in the month of November. Dylan Sadowy, Jimmy Lodge, defenseman, Daniel DeSousa, and rookie, “Chubby” Stephens are all balancing out the Spirit November scoring attack with 4-points apiece respectively. Any player on the Spirit roster; whether it be a forward on lines 1-through-4, or even a defenseman is capable of lighting the red light at any given point of the game. A balanced attack like this has to give opposing coaches fits; while at the same time, having the Spirit head coach, Greg Gilbert beaming with pride, knowing he has five guys on the ice who can score a goal when needed.