The Saginaw Spirit dropped their final pre season game 2-1 to the Flint Firebirds at the Dow Event Center tonight. Following two losses to the Soo Greyhounds last week and a shootout loss in Flint last night, they finish the 2016-17 Ontario Hockey League pre season with an 0-3-0-1 record.
Flint forward Ryan Moore was whistled for holding at 4:02 of the second period and the Spirit would strike first with the man advantage.
Just forty seconds into the power play, Mitchell Stephens (Tampa Bay Lightning second round pick, 33 overall in the 2015 NHL draft) took a cross-ice pass from Filip Hronek (Detroit Red Wings second round pick, 53 overall in the 2016 NHL draft) and C.J. Garcia and buried a power play goal past Flint goalie Matthew Menna to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead at 4:42 of the second period.
Stephens was whistled for a hooking penalty at 17:52 of the second period and the Firebirds capitalized when Jalen Smereck beat Spirit goal tender Evan Cormier for a power play goal at 18:28 of the second period.
Flint forward Everett Clark managed to sneak the eventual game-winner past Cormier at 18:55 of the third period.
The Spirit took five penalties in the second period, three of which that were back-to-back-to-back in the last five minutes where Flint would score the decisive power play goal.
Cormier stopped 25 of the 27 shots he faced in between the pipes for the Spirit tonight.
The Spirit outshot Flint 9-5 in the first period while Flint took a 4 shot advantage in the third period, outshooting Saginaw 12-8 as the two teams finished even at 27 shots apiece for the night.
The Spirit will now look to their season opener in Flint on Sep 21 at the Dort Federal Event Center for the first game of the 2016-17 OHL season, and the first game of the I-75 Divide Cup series against the Flint Firebirds.
The Spirit will then head to the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, ON for a Sep 23 road game against the Guelph Storm, before returning to the Dow Event Center for their home opener on Sep 24 where they will return the favor and host Guelph.