Spirit blow 3-1 lead after giving up five unanswered goals in 6-3 loss to the Soo Greyhounds

Damien Giroux scored 2 goals for the Spirit, while rookie Ryan Stepien scored his first career OHL goal....

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

12th October, 2017     0

Sault Ste. Marie, ON:
The Saginaw Spirit (1-4-1-0) had a 2-goal lead early in the second period, before the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds scored five unanswered goals en route to a 6-3 win over the Spirit at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON tonight. 
The Spirit took advantage of a 2-minute slashing penalty to Soo defenseman Jacob LeGurrier, jumping out to a 1-0 lead with a power play goal midway through the first period when second year forward Damien Giroux buried a backdoor pass from Keaton Middleton at 9:19 of the first period for his second goal of the season. Saginaw defenseman Hayden Davis also assisted on the power play goal.
The Greyhounds answered just 29-seconds later when Soo rookie RW Ryan Roth (2) scored his second goal of the season with assists from Morgan Frost (a first round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers, 27th overall, in the 2017 NHL draft) and Anthony DeMeo to tie the game at 1-goal apiece at 9:48 of the first period.
Giroux (3) bagged his second goal of the night, beating Soo goal tender Matthew Villalta on a wrap-around from Caleb Everett and Davis at 16:19 of the first period to give the Spirit a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission after Saginaw out-shot the Greyhounds 21-10 in the opening period.
Saginaw's relentless pressure on Villalta continued early in the second period and paid off when Spirit rookie forward Ryan Stepien (1) scored his first career OHL goal with an assist coming from defenseman Brock Hill for a 3-1 Spirit lead at 2:23 of the second period.
Sault Ste. Marie took advantage of 4 on 4 action (following off-setting penalties to each team) when defenseman Mac Hollowell (1) beat Saginaw goal tender Evan Cormier (a fourth round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL draft) to cut the Spirit lead to 3-2 at 4:19 of the second period, with assists coming from Frost and DeMeo.
Hollowell (2) tied the game at 3-goals apiece with his second consecutive goal from Keeghan Howdeshell and Barrett Hayton at 10:18 of the second period.
The Soo would take its first lead of the game (4-3) at the 16:39 mark of the second period when Boris Katchouk (9) scored a power play goal while on a 5 on 3 man-advantage after Spirit rookie Nicholas Porco was whistled for a 5-minute match penalty for slew-footing, prior to a D.J. Busdeker slashing penalty.
Frost (2) gave the Greyhounds a 5-3 lead with a power play goal from Katchouk and Hayton at 15:07 of the final period, before Jack Kopacka (2) put the game out of reach just 42-seconds later, giving the Soo a 6-3 lead with his second goal of the season from Howdeshell and Hollowell at the 15:49 mark.
Cormier stopped 29 of the 35 shots he faced in net for the Spirit, while Villalta turned away 38 of the 41 shots he saw for the Soo. 
The Spirit return home this weekend for a couple of home games when the Kitchener Rangers come to the Dow Event Center for a 7:05 pm game Saturday night, before the Mississauge Steelheads visit for a 5:30 pm game on Sunday evening.
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