Spirit end two game skid, exercising complete dominance with 6-0 shutout victory over Firebirds
The Spirit took an early 3-0 lead, while preventing Flint from taking a single shot throughout the first 12 minutes of the game...
By: Jason Marcoux
21st October, 2018
After a two game losing skid; which began with a 6-3 road loss to the Soo on Wednesday night, before blowing a 3-1 lead while surrendering 6 unanswered goals in the final 20:47 of a 7-3 loss to the Barrie Colts at the Dow Event Center last night, the Saginaw Spirit (7-4-1-0) managed to get back on track with a dominant 6-0 shutout victory over the Flint Firebirds (0-10-0-0) giving the Spirit a (2-games to none) lead following the completion of the second leg of the I-75 Divide Cup Series at 'the Dow' in downtown Saginaw tonight.
Saginaw controlled every aspect of the game in the first half of the opening period, playing (arguably) its most dominant 12-minutes of hockey I have ever witnessed by a Spirit team, keeping Flint from taking a single shot on goal until the final 7:49 of the opening frame, building a big lead on goals by Albert Michnac (his seventh of the year with assists from Brady Gilmour and Cole Coskey for a 1-0 lead at 3:36 of the first); Damien Giroux (his seventh of the year from Blade Jenkins and Nicholas Porco for a 2-0 lead just 27-seconds later at the 4:03 mark); and Gilmour (his fourth of the year from Michnac for a 3-0 Spirit lead at 11:50 of the opening period) giving the Spirit a commanding 3-0 lead before Flint had even recorded a shot on goal.
The Spirit would add to its early lead toward the end of the first when Max Grondin (1) finally got the monkey off his back, scoring his first goal of the season at 14:59 of the first period with assists coming from Reilly Webb and D.J. Busdeker to give Saginaw a 4-0 lead, while chasing Flint starter Emanuel Vella for Firebirds' backup goal tender Luke Cavallin heading into the first intermission.
Spirit rookie Cole Perfetti closed out the Saginaw offense with a goal in each of the final two periods, scoring a power play goal (his sixth goal of the season from Gilmour and defenseman Mason Millman) for a 5-0 lead at the 5:30 mark of the second period, before wrapping up with his second tally of the night (his seventh of the season from Aidan Prueter and Busdeker) for a 6-0 Spirit lead at 10:45 of the third period.
Vella stopped 13 of the 17 shots he faced throughout his 14:59 in net for Flint, before he was replaced by Cavallin, who stopped 30 of the 32 shots he saw throughout his 43:22 in net for the Firebirds, while Saginaw goal tender Ivan Prosvetov (a fourth round pick of the Arizona Coyotes in the 2018 NHL draft) earned his first career OHL shutout, turning away all 19 shots he would face in between the pipes for the Spirit tonight.
The Spirit will enjoy six days off, before welcoming the Niagara Ice Dogs (6-4-2-0) for its first visit to Saginaw for a 7:05 pm face off against the Spirit right back here at the Dow Event Center next Saturday night.
VIDEO of Spirit rookie Cole Perfetti scoring his second goal of the night against the Flint Firebirds: