The Saginaw Spirit (19-23-6-2) dropped back to back games this week; losing 5-2 to the Soo Greyhounds (34-12-2-1) on Wednesday, and 4-0 on the road to the Windsor Spitfires on Thursday night.
Despite the back to back losses, the Spirit (46 points) are still within striking distance, only 4 points behind the Flint Firebirds (50 points) for the Ontario Hockey League's final western conference playoff spot.
The Spirit were very close to having only a 2-point deficit to overcome before a Flint overtime victory over the Guelph Storm at the Dort Federal Event Center earlier tonight.
Two third period Guelph goals forced overtime, however, Columbus Blue Jackets' prospect Kole Sherwood scored his twenty-fifth goal of the season just 35-seconds into the overtime session to give the Firebirds' the OT victory and 2 more points in the standings.
Wednesday night, 3,048 faithful fans paid tribute as the Spirit retired former captain, current Florida Panther, and recent NHL all star Vincent Trochek's No. 89 jersey; the first jersey ever retired by the organization.
Brady Gilmour (20) scored his twentieth goal of the season from Cole Coskey and D.J. Busdeker just 58 seconds into the game before the Greyhounds rattled off four unanswered goals. Gianluca Fuoco (2) scored his second of the season late in the third period before an empty net goal from the Soo.
Thursday night the Spirit had trouble mounting any kind of an offensive attack and were shutout by Windsor's hometown hero (Amherstburg, ON) goal tender, Michael DiPietro who turned away all 22 shots for the 4-0 shutout win.
The Spirit will look to close the gap with the Firebirds when it hosts former captain Mitchell Stephens (a second round pick of the Tampa Bay Lightning, 33 overall, in the 2015 NHL draft) and the dangerous London Knights at the Dow Event Center Saturday night for a 7:05 pm face off. Flint will host the Kitchener Rangers on Sat. night as well.