Saginaw Spirit vs. Sarnia Sting (2/19/11)

Posted In: Sports, Local Sports, Saginaw Spirit,   By: Jason Marcoux

20th February, 2011     0

The Saginaw Spirit guaranteed that they will make the OHL playoff’s as they beat the Sarnia Sting like a “rented Goalie!”  When the final buzzer sounded Saturday night at the Dow Events Center, the final tally was Saginaw Spirit 6 and the Sarnia Sting 2.  Things didn’t look that peachy early on for the Spirit as they could only muster 4 shots on goal in the first period.  Sarnia wasn’t much better, as they also posted a single digit number of only 9 shots on goal in the opening period. Both teams seemed to be coming out with a defensive game plan.  It seemed as if 80 percent of the action in the first period was played in between the two blue lines.  Too much “Neutral Zone” action makes for a very low scoring and frustrating Hockey game.  The 46 minutes of penalties between the two teams in Saturday evening’s game could be a testament to that.  Saginaw had 6 penalty minutes in the 1st period alone, with Saginaw’s Justin Kea receiving 4 of those 6 minutes.
The frustrating “neutral zone” play of the 1st period laid the ground work for a penalty filled 2nd period.  Maybe the 18 minutes of penalties that the 2 teams combined for in the 2nd period was a way to relieve the tension, because it certainly opened up the scoring.  Saginaw’s Matthew Sisca lit the red light first for the Spirit at 8:28 of the period.  Peter Hermenegildo and John McFarland assisted on the Sisca goal.  A few minutes later, at the 10:44 mark, Josh Shalla bagged his 40th goal of the season on a nice “Dinger” assisted by Garret Ross and Jordan Szwarz.  John McFarland, who has been on a roll as of late, netted what proved to be the game winning goal at 14:56 of the 2nd period.  Jordan Szwarz and Dalton Prout assisted on the McFarland goal.  One particular bright spot for Saginaw was the play of their number 3 Goalie.  The 16 year old, Spirit free agent Goal Tender, Jake Patterson played 37 minutes and 12 seconds of shutout hockey before Sarnia’s Alex Galchenyuk put one by the seldom used youngster.  At the end of two periods of play, the score was 3-1 in favor of The Spirit.
It didn’t take the Spirit long to get things going in the 3rd period.  Anthony Camara scored his 8th goal of the season on a power play at 1:08 of the 3rd period.  Sarnia’s Brandon Francisco would answer for the sting with a goal of his own a little less than 2 minutes later.  Ryan O’Connor and Justin Kea finished out the scoring as they each added goals for the Spirit in the final period.
With the win, the Spirit officially clinched a playoff spot. I think that was pretty much a given anyway.  The goal in this organization is to go deep into those playoffs.  With their number 2 Goalie, Tadeas Galansky, playing well Thursday night and their Number 3 Goalie playing well against the Sting, it gives Mavric Parks a much needed rest as the Spirit hit the home stretch.  The Spirit will be right back at “The Dow” Sunday afternoon as they take on their “in-state” rival, The Plymouth Whalers.  The puck will drop at 4 p.m.
I can’t finish this piece without mentioning how special Saturday morning was to my family.  On Saturday at 9am, I went to my 8 year old Godson/Nephew, Jack Kujawa’s basketball game, where I witnessed some magic.  With 3 seconds left in the half, Jack took the inbounds pass and with 1 second left on the clock, he let a shot fly from well over half court.  As the ball was in mid-air, the buzzer sounded and he hit NOTHING BUT NET!  Did I mention that he was EIGHT!?  Great job Jack!  At the very same time, during a 9am Squirt hockey game out at Saginaw Bay Ice Arena, Jack’s older brother Kenny netted a hat trick for his Vondette Roofing Huskies Squirt hockey team.  It was a Great day for the Kujawa boys.                  


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