The Saginaw Spirit (25-19-7-0) scored two power play goals, but also gave up a power play goal, along with 2-shorthanded goals, before losing a 4-3 OT game in the final 28-seconds of overtime to the Guelph Storm (27-21-1-3) in front of 3,211 at the Sleeman Centre in Guelph, ON tonight.
Trailing 3-2 late in the third period, Spirit rookie Nicholas Porco (4) tied the game at 3-goals apiece with a power play goal, his fourth goal of the season from Cole Coskey and Hayden Davis at 14:01 of the third period, eventually forcing overtime, where the Spirit managed to earn 1-point in the standings.
With just 28-seconds left in the overtime session, Guelph LW Isaac Ratcliffe (a second round pick of the Philadelphia Flyers in the 2017 NHL draft) scored the OT game winner at 4:32 of the overtime period.
The Spirit had a power play opportunity in the first 5-minutes of the game, however, Guelph rookie forward Cam Hillis (19) scored a shorthanded goal to beat Spirit goal tender Evan Cormier, giving the Storm an early 1-0 lead at 5:39 of the first period.
Guelph extended its lead to 2-0 early in the second period when Storm defenseman Dmitri Samorukov (8) scored his eighth goal of the season at 5:04 of the second period.
Saginaw answered with a power play goal later in the second period when Coskey (24) put the Spirit on the board (2-1) with his twenty-fourth goal of the season with an assist coming from Damien Giroux at 11:18 of the second period.
Shortly after Coskey's power play goal, Spirit rookie Camaryn Baber (1) tied the game at 2-goals apiece with his first career OHL goal with an assist coming from fellow rookie Porco and another assist going to Davis at 13:44 of the second period.
The Storm pulled ahead 3-2 early in the final period when Guelph forward Cedric Ralph (19) scored another shorthanded goal (following a controversial collision with Cormier) for his nineteenth goal of the season at 1:49 of the third period.
Spirit goal tender Evan Cormier stopped 29 of the 33 shots he faced in net, and backup Cam Lamour stopped all 4 shots he saw after replacing Cormier for 4:47 in the third due to a loose skate blade following the collision on the Ralph goal, while Cormier's counterpart, Guelph goal tender Anthony Popovich turned away 31 of the 34 shots he saw in between the pipes for the Storm.
The Spirit will return home for a 7:05 pm game against defending Memorial Cup champion the Windsor Spitfires at the Dow Event Center tomorrow night.