The Saginaw Spirit (37-15-2-3) kicked off a 3-game eastern conference road trip with a 6-3 victory over the Barrie Colts (23-30-3-1) in front of 3,050 at the Barrie Molson Centre in Barrie, ON tonight.
Saginaw jumped out to an early lead when rookie Cole Perfetti (26) scored his twenty-sixth of the season with an assist coming from Owen Tippett for a 1-0 lead just 1:16 into the game, while Brady Gilmour (12) followed with his twelfth of the season with assists from Reilly Webb and D.J. Busdeker at 15:36 of the opening period, sending the Spirit into the first intermission with a 2-0 lead.
Bode Wilde (15) scored a power play goal from Gilmour and Ryan McLeod for a 3-0 Spirit lead just 1:04 into the second period, which was followed by a goal from Tippett (29) with assists from Gilmour and McLeod to give Saginaw a comfortable 4-0 lead at 6:32 of the second period.
Barrie answered when Tyson Forester (5) cut the Spirit lead to 4-1 at 6:53 of the second, before Colt's forward Jason Willms (15) would cut the lead in half (4-2) with his fifteenth of the season at 9:46 of the second period.
Spirit captain Damien Giroux (24) expanded the Saginaw lead to 5-2 in the final seconds of the middle frame, scoring a power play goal with an assist from Wilde at 19:55 of the second period.
Perfetti (27) added his second of the night with an assist from Tippett for a 6-3 lead at 5:18 of the third period, tying the impressive rookie with Jan Mursak (2006-07 season) for the most goals by a Spirit rookie in a single season, before Barrie defenseman Victor Hadfield (1) cut the Saginaw lead to 6-3 with his first career OHL goal at 6:34 of the third period.
Perfetti, who has 60-points this year, would need 20-more points in the remaining 11-games in order to catch Mursak for the all-time rookie scoring record in Spirit history.
Saginaw goal tender Ivan Prosvetov turned away 23 of the 26 shots he would face in net for the Spirit, earning his twenty-ninth win of the season.
The Spirit are off Friday, before heading to Hamilton, ON to take on the Hamilton Bulldogs in a 7 pm face off at the First Ontario Centre Saturday night.