Spirit fight off early scoring attack but fall to the Erie Otters 9-4 on the road
The Spirit are now 7 points behind the Flint Firebirds for the eighth and final western conference playoff spot.....
By: Jason Marcoux
12th February, 2017
The Saginaw Spirit managed to respond to an early first period scoring attack but eventually fell to a very tough Erie Otters team 9-4 at the Erie Insurance Arena in Erie, PA tonight.
The Otters' second leading scorer Taylor Raddysh beat Spirit goal tender Brendan Bonello just 32 seconds into the opening period for a 1-0 lead, while Erie would go on to add two more goals within the first ten minutes of the game for an early 3-0 lead.
Matthew Kreis (9) beat former Spirit goal tending prospect Joseph Murdaca for his ninth of the season from Hayden Hodgson and Kris Bennett to get Saginaw on the board at 10:35 of the opening period to make it a 3-1 game.
Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Keaton Middleton (2) followed with his second of the season from Red Wings prospect Filip Hronek to get the Spirit to within 1 goal 3-2 at 14:16 of the first period.
The Spirit would tie the game at 3 goals apiece when Brady Gilmour (21) beat Murdaca for his twenty-first of the season from D.J. Busdeker and Middleton at 16:41 of the first period.
Erie forward Anthony Cirelli (18) scored his eighteenth of the season with 54 seconds left to give the Otters' a 4-3 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Otters answered with 3 unanswered goals in the last couple minutes of the second period to open up a 6-3 lead heading into the second intermission.
The Otters would add another 3 goals in the third period to round out the scoring and the 9-4 win.
Spirit defenseman Marcus Crawford (4) scored his fourth of the season from Hodgson and Bennett at 10:58 of the third period.
Bonello turned away 34 of the 43 shots he faced in net for the Spirit tonight.
The Spirit (48 points) are now facing an uphill battle as they trail the Flint Firebirds (55 points) by 7 points for the final western conference playoff spot.
The Spirit will round out its weekend road trip with a visit to the Hershey Centre in Mississauga, ON for a 2 pm game against the Mississauga Steelheads tomorrow afternoon.