The Saginaw Spirit (11-9-3-0) extended its win streak to 4-games and have now won 8 of its last 10 games (earning points in 9 of the last 10 games) following a decisive 6-1 victory over the Flint Firebirds (while also taking a 3-0 lead in the I-75 divide cup series) in front of 3,022 at the Dow Event Center tonight.
As the third period was winding down, the game started to resemble the I-75 rivalry of the 70's and 80's between the Saginaw Gears and Flint Generals of the International Hockey League, as the two teams racked up a whopping 118-penalty minutes in the final 7-minutes.
Brock Hill and Flint's Ty Dellandrea each received a 5-minute major for fighting along with a 10-minute misconduct each, while Saginaw's Aidan Prueter, D.J. Busdeker, Max Grondin, and Danny Katic each received 10-minute misconduct's respectively; and Jake Durham, Ethan Keppen, Zach Pilon, Ryan Littlejohn, and Jalen Smereck all received 10-minute misconduct's for Flint in the final 7-minutes as well.
Spirit forward Kyle Bollers (3) scored in the early seconds of the game to give the Spirit a 1-0 lead with assists from Brady Gilmour and Keaton Middleton just :09 into the first period.
Marcus Crawford (7) scored his seventh goal of the season while on the power play from Cole Coskey and Gilmour to take a 2-0 lead at 8:45 of the first period, before Bollers (4) scored his second of the night (a shorthanded goal) from Middleton and Mason Kohn at the 11:23 mark of the opening period to send the Spirit heading into the first intermission with a 3-0 lead.
Like they did to start the game, the Spirit scored very early in the second period when rookie sensation Blade Jenkins (11) buried his eleventh goal of the season from Busdeker and Damien Giroux for a 4-0 lead at the :33 mark of the second period.
Flint would finally get on the board with a power play goal from C.J. Clarke (3) as the Firebirds cut into the Spirit lead (4-1) at 3:43 of the second period.
The Spirit answered with a power play goal from Crawford (8) his second tally of the night from Kohn and Coskey to make it a 5-1 game at 10:33 of the second period.
Prueter (2) would round out the scoring with his second goal of the season from Katic and Nicholas Porco to make it a 6-1 game at 3:27 of the third period.
Saginaw goal tender Evan Cormier turned away 35 of the 36 shots he would face in between the pipes tonight.
The Spirit will look to make it five straight when the Kingston Frontenacs make a Saturday night visit for a 7:05 pm face off at the Dow Event Center tomorrow evening.