The Saginaw Spirit (21-14-3-0) four game winning streak came to an end after surrendering 3-third period goals in a 5-2 loss to the Sarnia Sting (27-12-2-0) at the Dow Event Center tonight.
With the Spirit trailing 3-2 late in the third period, and just 7-seconds remaining on a Saginaw penalty kill, Sarnia defenseman Connor Schlichting (5) scored a power play goal, sucking the air out of the Dow Event Center, as the Sting built a 4-2 lead at 13:09 of the final period, before Mokena, IL native Jordan Ernst (21) sealed Saginaw's fate with an empty-net goal, giving the Sting a 5-2 lead at 16:55 of the final period.
After a scoreless first period, Sarnia would strike first, midway through the second period when veteran winger Franco Sproviero (7) scored his seventh goal of the season to give the Sting a 1-0 lead at 9:49 of the second period.
The Spirit responded when Jake Goldowski (2) redirected a shot past Sarnia goal tender Justin Fazio for his second goal of the season with assists coming from D.J. Busdeker and Marcus Crawford to tie the game at 1-goal apiece at 13:02 of the second period.
A minute and a half later, Sarnia forward Ryan McGregor (11) managed to sneak one past Spirit goal tender Evan Cormier (a fourth round pick of the New Jersey Devils in the 2016 NHL draft) for a 2-1 Sting lead at 14:37 of the second period.
Shortly following the McGregor goal, Saginaw forward Cole Coskey (18) picked up the puck along the half boards inside the Spirit zone, skated coast to coast up the right side, then absolutely roofed one through the tiniest of opening's over Fazio's left shoulder, his eighteenth tally of the season at 15:58 of the second period, sending the two teams into the second intermission tied at 2-goals apiece.
In the early portion of the third period, McGregor (12) scored his second goal of the night, which would prove to be the game-winner, giving the Sting a 3-2 lead at 5:54 of the final period.
Cormier stopped 31 of the 36 shots he saw in net for the Spirit, while Fazio turned away 32 of 34 shots between the pipes for Sarnia.
The Spirit will have a few days to rest, before a trip north, up I-75 to take on the top team in the Canadian Hockey League, the Soo Greyhounds (33-3-2-1) at 7:07 pm on Wednesday night at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON.
Spirit prepare for third period against Sarnia: