The Saginaw Spirit (14-10-1-2) let a fairly close game slip away after surrendering a late second period power play goal, followed by another 3 unanswered goals (the first of which was a shorthanded goal on a Spirit power play) in the first 5:12 of the third period, while a sloppy Saginaw power play failed to convert on any of its first five opportunities in a 7-4 loss to the Soo Greyhounds (16-7-4-1) in front of 4,010 on Superhero night at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw tonight.
The Spirit did manage to finally convert a pair of power play goals late in the game, the last of which was while on a 5 on 3 man-advantage, going 2 for 8 on power play opportunities.
Second year Saginaw forward Camaryn Baber (2) drew first blood for the Spirit, scoring his second goal of the season midway through the opening frame with assists coming from Blade Jenkins and Hayden Davis for a 1-0 Spirit lead at 11:03 of the first period.
The Soo answered with a pair of goals just 37-seconds apart in the middle frame when Greyhounds forward Keeghan Howdeshell (18) tied the game at 1-goal apiece at 8:14 of the second and his talented teammate Morgan Frost (17) followed with his seventeenth goal of the season to give the Soo a 2-1 lead at the 8:51 mark, before Spirit veteran Cole Coskey (10) managed to keep Saginaw in contention, scoring his tenth goal of the season with assists from Spirit rookie Cole Perfetti and Brady Gilmour, knotting the game at 2-goals apiece at 11:47 of the second period.
After failing to score on either of its two first period power play opportunities, the Spirit looked very unsure of itself on the third PP chance shortly after Coskey's goal; while the Spirit special teams continued to spiral after a late Saginaw penalty near the end of the second period would eventually lead to a Soo power play goal from Mac Hollowell (9) at the 18:30 mark, giving the Greyhounds a 3-2 lead heading into the second intermission.
Saginaw would garner yet another power play opportunity in the opening minute of the final frame, but a Spirit turnover early in that power play resulted in Howdeshell (19) scoring a shorthanded goal on a nice feed from Frost for a 4-2 Soo lead at 1:25 of the third period, which was then followed by Howdeshell's hat trick goal, giving the Soo a 5-2 lead at 4:26 of the third, before Soo rookie forward Alex Johnston (3) lit the lamp just 36-seconds later to give the Greyhounds a commanding 6-2 lead at the 5:12 mark.
The Spirit showed some late tenacity, finally converting a power play opportunity when Jenkins knocked a rebound off the far post right out of mid-air to beat Soo goalie Matthew Villalta with assists from Perfetti and Gilmour to cut the Soo lead to 6-3 at 13:35 of the third period, while a couple of Soo penalties opened the door for a Spirit 5 on 3 man-advantage, as Coskey buried the PPG on the 2-man advantage for his second tally of the night from Gilmour and Bode Wilde, cutting the Soo lead to 6-4 at 15:15 of the third period, however, Frost (18) managed to get to open ice late in the game, scoring an empty net goal to put the game out of reach at the 17:47 mark to secure the 7-4 Greyhounds victory.
Villalta stopped 29 of the 31 shots he faced in net for the Soo tonight, while Spirit goal tender Ivan Prosvetov turned away 28 of the 34 shots he would see in between the pipes for Saginaw.
Saginaw will look to get things turned around, kicking off a 3 game road trip with an eastern conference matchup against the Niagara Ice Dogs (15-7-4-0) with a 7 pm face off on Thurs Dec 6, at the Meridian Centre in Niagara, ON later in the week.
Video of Spirit veteran Cole Coskey's celly after tying the game at 2 goals apiece against the Soo Greyhounds tonight: