The Saginaw Spirit were able to tie the I-75 divide series at 3 games apiece with a crucial 8-4 victory over the Flint Firebirds at the Dow Event Center tonight. The Spirit have now won 6-of their last-7 games and jump ahead of the Firebirds in the western conference playoff race.
San Jose Sharks prospect Dylan Sadowy scored twice at the end the first period and a third time to start the second period for the rare 'Natural Hat Trick' giving the Spirit an insurmountable 5-1 lead early in the second period.
Spirit coach Greg Gilbert appreciates Sadowy's hard work and is hoping his gritty effort around the net will rub off on some of the other Spirit players.
“He's working hard, he was pushing for the fourth line too and overextending shifts, which was good to see,” Gilbert said of Sadowy. “He was driving to the net, stopping in the blue paint, like you work on every week. If guys would learn from him and watch him drive the net and stop in the blue paint they're probably going to score goals like him, but a lot of them just fade away. You have to pay the price to score in this league. It's very very seldom -especially with the goalies nowadays- that you score from the outside, you gotta be on the inside, you gotta take the slash, and be willing to do it, and tonight was a great example of that.”
Sadowy was paired with Artem Artemov and Matthew Kreis for just the third game and the trio's chemistry was key to Saginaw's early success. Hard fore-checking early by Sadowy and Artemov created a turnover in the Firebirds' zone which resulted in a beautiful goal by Kreis at 4:03 of the first period.
Just 'ASK' and you shall receive... The mighty A-S-K line (Artemov, Sadowy, and Kreis) totaled 10 points tonight, which is good reason to keep this productive trio together.
“It was our third game playing together and we're finally starting to click which is nice,” Sadowy said. “They both (Artemov and Kreis) had around four points tonight which was huge for them, I had a few goals as well, and combined we had 10 points which is nice and it was a big win for the team as well.”
“We just need to keep playing smart, keep playing the simple game and not get selfish, everyone's personal success is going to help the teams success, and that's the mentality we need to keep.”
The Spirit have a home-and-home series with the division leading Windsor Spitfires over the next three days. The team will head south down I-75 and across the Detroit River to Windsor, ON tomorrow night (Thurs) before returning to the Dow Event Center to host the Spit's on Saturday night. The puck drops at 7:05 p.m. for both games.