Sometimes a slumping hockey team just needs that one game in familiar territory, against a familiar foe in order to turn all the negatives into positives and get back on track.
Last year, the Spirit won 6 of its 8 meetings with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (11-6-1-0) including all four games on the road. Off to shaky start in this 2016-17 OHL season, the Spirit have been looking for that one game that can turn things around.
Tonight could be that night for the Spirit (3-10-2-1) who continued its dominance from last season with a 4-0 victory over the Greyhounds (11-6-1-0) at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
The Saginaw special teams also looked to be back on track after converting a power play goal for its third straight game, while stopping the Soo on all 8 of its chances tonight.
The two teams battled through almost two full periods of scoreless play before Cole Coskey (3) scored his third goal of the season from Mitchell Stephens at 16:55 of the second period.
Saginaw's dynamic duo connected for another goal midway through the third period, this time it was Coskey feeding Stephens (6) for his sixth of the season at 9:24 of the third.
The Greyhounds' Barrett Hayton was whistled for tripping at 10:15 of the final period and Saginaw overage defenseman C.J. Garcia (3) took advantage, scoring his third goal of the season from Jesse Barwell and Marcus Crawford for a 3-0 lead at 11:42 of the third.
Barwell (2) finished off the Spirit scoring with his second of the season from Kirll Maksimov and Keaton Middleton at 16:18 of the third period.
Spirit goal tender Evan Cormier was outstanding, as he's been all year, with his first shutout of the season stopping all 37 shots he faced from the Soo tonight.
The Spirit were 1 for 4 on the power play while stopping the Soo on all 8 of its chances on the penalty kill.
The Spirit return home to host the Peterborough Petes (9-6-0-3) tomorrow night for the annual Guns and Hoses game at 7:05 pm at the Dow Event Center.
Saginaw will be looking to extend its current winning streak to 3 consecutive games with a chance to avenge a 4-3 shootout loss from earlier this season back on Oct. 6 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.