The Saginaw Spirit (8-4-1-0) ran its current win streak to 4-games with a 5-3 victory over the Kitchener Rangers (5-2-2-2) in front of 3,042 at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw Saturday night.
Spirit head coach Chris Lazary was glad to get some retribution after a blown lead in a 5-4 overtime road loss to the Rangers back on Sep 20, which kicked off the 2019-20 season on a sour note.
"For us, (tonight's win) was one that we wanted," Lazary said. "After we dropped a 4-2 lead (to Kitchener) in the third on opening night we were looking forward to getting another crack at them."
"In our evaluation, there's going to be three or four teams who will probably be pushing the chips in and going for it and (Kitchener) is one of them, they're good," Lazary added. "You know, they were missing (Liam) Hawel and they didn't have their starting goalie in tonight, so they were missing some pretty big pieces, but they still gave us a pretty good push."
Kitchener managed to draw first blood early when Reid Valade (3) scored to give the Rangers a 1-0 lead at 6:09 of the first period, while the Spirit answered with a power play goal when Cole Coskey (10) buried a one-timer on a nice feed from Cole Perfetti and Damien Giroux to tie the game at 1-goal apiece at 16:04 of the first, before the Rangers retook the lead near the end of the frame when Ville Ottavainen (3) scored at the 18:52 mark to give Kitchener a 2-1 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Spirit extended the lead in the middle frame with back to back power play goals from Cole Perfetti; the first on a feed from Giroux and Coskey to tie the game at 2-goals apiece at 5:02 of the second period and Perfetti's second of the night with assists from Ilya Solovyov and Coskey for a 3-2 Saginaw lead at 15:28 of the second.
Kitchener pulled even just past the midway point of the second period when Mike Petizian (3) knotted the game at 3-goals apiece at the 14:04 mark, but Saginaw responded when Mason Millman (3) scored the eventual game winner with an assist coming from Camaryn Baber for a 4-3 lead at 17:01 of the second period.
Giroux added an insurance goal midway through the third with assists from Perfetti and Coskey to round out the scoring (5-3) at 9:44 of the third.
Spirit goal tender Tristan Lennox stopped 30 of the 33 shots he saw in net for Saginaw.
The Spirit will now hit the road for a 7:30 pm face off against the London Knights at Budweiser Gardens in London, ON this Friday, before returning the following night to host the Sudbury Wolves for a 7:05 pm face off at the Dow Event Center on Saturday evening.