The Saginaw Spirit (20-11-2-2) have now won 6 of its last 8, while earning 13 of a possible 14 points in seven straight games following a 6-2 victory over the Erie Otters in front of 3,754 at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw tonight.
Former Detroit Red Wings' back to back 50-goal scorer (1972-74) Mickey Redmond was in attendance to meet and greet with fans for autographs and pictures along with an NHL trophy display; while Saginaw's native son Brendan Kischnick, a rookie defenseman for the Otters, made his OHL regular season debut in front of family and friends inside the Dow, the very same building where he once cheered for the Spirit as an aspiring young hockey player growing up in Freeland.
Erie jumped out to an early lead midway through the opening frame when Otters' RW Danial Singer (8) lit the lamp with assists from Gera Poddubnyi and Kurtis Henry for a 1-0 lead at 11:02 of the first period, but the Spirit answered a couple minutes later when Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour (7) scored an acrobatic goal from Jake Goldowski and Danny Katic to tie the game at 1-goal apiece at the 13:31 mark of the first.
The Otters would capitalize on a Spirit penalty later in the first period when Kyle Maksimovich (20) scored a power play goal for a 2-1 Erie lead at the 15:59 mark, before the Spirit responded with the equalizer when Saginaw defenseman Reagan O'Grady (3) dropped down from the right point and buried a wrap-around goal on a give-and-go feed from Cole Coskey with an additional assist cominng from Cole Perfetti at the 17:55 mark, sending the two teams into the first intermission knotted at 2-goals apiece.
Erie, however, would not go quietly, pulling ahead once again early in the middle frame when Otters' LW Maxim Golod (8) scored on an odd-man rush for a 3-2 Erie lead at 1:10 of the second period, but the Spirit responded midway through the second, capitalizing on an Erie penalty when Blade Jenkins (14) scored a power play goal on a redirection of a Bode Wilde wrist shot from the blue line with an additional assist coming from Perfetti, which tied the game at 3-goals apiece at 10:05 of the second period.
Saginaw would take its first lead of the game later in the second period following another Erie penalty when Spirit captain Damien Giroux (15) scored a power play goal with assists from Coskey and Wilde for a 4-3 lead at the 13:17 mark, while Nicholas Porco (15) followed with his fifteenth of the season from O'Grady and Duncan Penman for a 5-3 Spirit lead at 15:21 of the second period.
Spirit forward Danny Katic (4) added an insurance goal with an assist from Riley Webb for a 6-3 lead at 13:36 of the third period, before Henry (5) wrapped up the scoring for the Otters, cutting the Saginaw lead to 6-4 with his fifth of the season at 15:29 of the final period.
Erie goal tender Daniel Murphy stopped 25 of the 31 shots he saw in net for the Otters, while Spirit goal tender Ivan Prosvetov turned away 31 of the 35 shots he would face in between the pipes for Saginaw tonight.
The Spirit will look to make it three straight with a clean 3 out of 3 sweep for the week, welcoming in-state rivals the Flint Firebirds for the fourth leg of the Coors Light I-75 Divide Cup Series (which the Spirit hold a 3-0 lead this year) with face off set for 5:30 pm right back here at the Dow tomorrow afternoon.
Video of Spirit forward Blade Jenkins' sister's first period marriage proposal, she said YES!: