Spirit finish regular season with 3-1 victory over Kitchener and Jake Paterson

The Saginaw Spirit finished the regular season with a 3-1 victory over the Kitchener Rangers in front of 5,282 fans at the Dow Event Center Saturday.

Posted In: Sports, Saginaw Spirit,   By: Jason Marcoux

24th March, 2015     0

The Saginaw Spirit finished the regular season with a 3-1 victory over the Kitchener Rangers in front of 5,282 fans at the Dow Event Center Saturday.

After rookie winger Adam McPhail (2) got his team on the board at 16:41 of the opening period, veteran forward Mitchell Stephens (22) buried the eventual game-winner at 14:43 of the second period. Max Iafrate made it interesting when he scored to get his Rangers to within one goal late in the third period, but Spirit center Vladislav Kodola (7) added the empty net insurance goal with 45 seconds remaining.

Former Spirit goal tender Jake Paterson, who is now with the Rangers, took the ice for possibly his last OHL game in the city where he started his brilliant Major Junior Hockey career. There's only one possible scenario that would give Paterson another chance to return to the ice at the Dow before he ages out of the league at the end of this season.

Longshot Scenario:

The Rangers (who are the No. 6 seed in the western conference) would have to advance through the first two rounds and make it to the OHL western conference championship series. Paterson would then need the Spirit (who are the No. 8 seed in the western conference) to do the same. The only problem is the Spirit would have to go through the two very best teams in the entire OHL (the Soo Greyhounds and the Erie Otters) just to make it to the the conference final. Not impossible, but not likely.

Sandwiched between trips to Charlotte, NC on Friday and Sunday to watch his MSU basketball team advance to the sweet 16, Irvin “Magic” Johnson managed to make his way to Saginaw in order to drop the ceremonial first puck as the Spirit honored Paterson -who will finish as the franchise all time leader for most games played by a goalie (166), and career wins (82). During his time with the Spirit, Paterson also represented Team Canada at 2 different IIHF World Junior Championships.

The Spirit drafted Paterson in the second round of the 2010 OHL priority selection draft along with former Spirit captain Justin Kea and current defenseman Jake Ringuette. Paterson quickly became one of the top young goalies in the world, which put him on the radar of many top NHL scouts. Two years after coming to Saginaw, Paterson realized his lifelong dream when the Detroit Red Wings selected him in the third round of the 2012 NHL draft, (80 overall).

With the Jan. 8, OHL trade deadline approaching, the 20 year old Mississauga, Ontario native was halfway through his fifth season with the Spirit when he was traded to Kitchener for two future draft picks (a second-round pick in 2018, and a third-round pick in 2017) as the Spirit looked to build toward the future.

2015 OHL Playoffs:

The Spirit kickoff the 2015 OHL playoffs Friday, March 26 and Saturday March, 28 at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. The series will then come back to Saginaw for two games at the Dow Event Center on Tuesday March, 31 and Thursday April, 2. If necessary, the series will then head back to Sault Ste. Marie Friday April, 3 for game-5 at the Essar Centre. **Start times in Saginaw are 7:11pm... 7:07 in Soo...








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