Saginaw Spirit Come Out of the Gates Flying

Recap of the First Playoff Game

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, Saginaw Spirit,   From Issue 723   By: Jason Marcoux

31st March, 2011     0

The Dow Event Center had a definitive “buzz” in the air on Friday March, 25th as the Spirit took to the ice against the Guelph Storm.  The “buzz” in the air was not from Saginaw’s Indoor Football team, the Saginaw "Sting," whom had won their home game the previous night.  That “buzz” in Saginaw’s Wendler Arena was created by the commencement of this years OHL post season.  There was a distinct atmosphere of “Playoff Hockey” down at The Dow Event Center on Friday night.

Saginaw came out of the gates flying up and down the ice as they outshot the visiting Guelph Storm 20-12 in the opening period.  It was the Storm who struck first though, as Storm forward Taylor Beck put Guelph up 1-0 at 3:29 of the first period.  It didn’t take long for Saginaw to strike back. Less than three minutes later, at the 6:21 mark of the 1st period, Saginaw Defenceman Ryan O’Connor knotted the game at one on a nice goal assisted by Josh Shalla and Ivan Telegin.  Despite Saginaw’s 20-12 advantage in shots, the first period would come to a close all tied up at one goal each.

The 2nd period was the polar opposite for the Spirit as they were outshot by the Storm by a whopping margin of 18-3.  The 18-3 shot margin looks a bit deceiving on paper though.  The Spirit gave up 18 shots and only managed 3 shots of their own, but it should be noted that Saginaw had 11 minutes and 42 seconds of penalties in the 2nd period.  They also spent some time killing a "five on three" Guelph advantage in the period.  It wasn’t until there were only six minutes left in the 2nd that there was actually 5 on 5 hockey played. 

The fans inside The Dow were really letting the referees have it throughout most of the 2nd period.  All of the penalties called in the 2nd period seemed to be legit calls, but it was some of the “non-calls” against The Guelph Storm that had the Spirit fans so fired up.  You see, there are often “rumblings” around the OHL (mostly un-warranted by American fans) that the American teams get unfair treatment in a Hockey League that has just three American teams, while there are a majority number of 17 Canadian teams in the twenty team Ontario Hockey League.  Saginaw Goalie, Mavric Parks kept his team in the game, stopping 17 of those 18 shots in the 2nd period.  As the 2nd came to a close, the score was Guelph 2 and Saginaw 1.

Both teams got serious in the 3rd period.  There weren’t as many penalties called in the 3rd, and the shot margin was pretty close with Saginaw edging the Storm 12 shots to 10 throughout the final stanza.  At 8:03 of the 3rd, Saginaw Sniper, Josh Shalla tied the game up for the Spirit with a goal assisted by Matthew Sisca and Vincent Trochek.  Three minutes later, at the 11:21 mark of the 3rd, it was Saginaw’s Vincent Trochek Scoring the eventual game winner on a beautiful goal set up by line mate, Ivan Telegin.  Brandon Saad was on the right side and dropped a pass down low to “The Russian Bull,” Ivan Telegin who was camped out behind the Guelph net.  From behind the net, Telegin found a wide open Trochek in the slot and the rest was Spirit history as Saginaw opened up a 1 game to zero lead in the first round of the 2011 OHL playoffs.

The Spirit will head to Guelph on Sunday afternoon for game two of the 2011 OHL playoffs.  Saginaw will then head back home to The Dow for game three of the first round on Monday night.  The Puck drops at 7:11 P.M.            


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