Saginaw Spirit captain, Vincent Trocheck couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to earn career point number (229); which moved him into a tie with Jack Combs for the second most career points in Saginaw Spirit history, just eighteen shy of the organization’s leader, Ryan McDonough (247).
Trocheck facilitated a pass from defenseman, Jason Shaw, feeding Spirit forward, Terry Trafford with a crisp tape-to-tape pass in the high-slot for the game winner; which beat Kingston Frontenac goalie, Colin Furlong to break a 1-1 tie at 15:21 of the third period, as the Spirit defeated Kingston 2-1 in front of 4,625 fans at the Dow Event Center Saturday night.
“I think it was (Jason) Shaw who made the play to break us out of their zone on the three-on-two, and (Andrey) Alexeev had a hard net-drive; which is pretty much just the way we’ve practiced it, anytime we practice three-on-two’s,” said Spirit captain Vincent Trocheck. “Traff (Terry Trafford) was up high and I gave him the pass in the slot; he had looked back to me, then their defensemen slid over and their goalie slid over, and he was wide open in the slot, and he finished just like he should; he caught the pass and looked, then saw that he pretty much had the whole net to shoot at, and he buried it.”
Spirit rookie goal tender, Nikita Serebryakov got the start between the pipes for Saginaw, giving Jake Paterson a much needed rest. Serebryakov had a stellar night in goal, stopping 32-of the-33 Frontenac shots he faced, earning his first career OHL victory. “I am very happy about it,” the young Moscow, Russia native said (in the best broken-English he could muster). “It was my first game at home, I started, and I got my first win, it’s very nice.”
It was very nice indeed, considering Serebryakov faced 15-of the game total-33 shots in the third period alone. Kingston peppered the Spirit early in the final period, outshooting Saginaw 12-to-2 in the first ten minutes alone. The young Russian goal tender stood tall, turning away shot after shot to keep his team in the game, despite the Kingston offensive threat; which was coupled by Saginaw Spirit miscues in their own zone.
“They were coming at us, but we were causing a lot of our own problems,” Saginaw Spirit head coach Greg Gilbert said. “You know, it’s just silly little plays, where we’re not under any kind of pressure and we’re just throwing pucks away for the sake of it, and you spend a lot of time in your own zone, and you put a lot of stress on –not only your goal tender- but all five guys you have playing 40-to-45 seconds in your own end, because: (A) either the guy wants to try and stick handle with it in a dangerous area, or (B) we’re just not moving the puck to the open guys, and when that happens you’re just going to get a lot of shots on you. But, the guys finally found a way to battle through, and they cleaned up a few areas, and got some opportunities, and thank goodness ‘Traff’ (Terry Trafford) buried that one.”
Gilbert was happy for his young net-minder as well, giving him praise for his effort tonight; while pointing out that Serebryakov also played very well in a 5-4 shootout loss to the Frontenacs in Kingston (Ontario) two weeks ago. “He was outstanding, and he also played well in Kingston against these guys as well -when we unfortunately lost in a shootout- but, he still played well,” said Gilbert. “Tonight, I think it’s going to be great for his confidence; he made a ton of huge saves for us; he was solid all game, playing pucks and he never really got into any trouble –he did the simple things with it- you know, and he did his job in net, and he is the reason we won the game.”
The Spirit will head east across the Blue Water Bridge Friday Nov, 30 for a 7:05 p.m. game in Sarnia, and return home to the Dow Event Center to host Ottawa Saturday Dec, 1 for a 7:11 p.m. home game. As usual, we will be looking forward to seeing you down at the Dow….