Despite skating with a depleted roster, the Saginaw Spirit (17-11-1-2) managed to roll to its third straight win, picking up an impressive 6-2 victory over division rival the Windsor Spitfires (14-16-2-1) in front of 3,013 at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw, MI tonight.
The Spirit were playing without the services of Detroit Red Wings prospect Brady Gilmour (injured) tonight, while veteran forwards Camaryn Baber (injured) and Cole Coskey (who's representing team USA at the 2018-19 IIHF U20 WJC in Everett, WA); along with veteran defensemen Reagan O'Grady and Hayden Davis, who were both scratches while nursing respective injuries tonight as well.
Windsor drew first blood midway through the opening frame when Spitfires' LW Will Cuylle (9) scored on a nice feed from defenseman Louka Henault to take a 1-0 lead at 10:15 of the first period.
The Spirit answered with a pair of goals just 40-seconds apart near the end of the first when Saginaw captain Damien Giroux (13) buried his thirteenth goal of the season from Albert Michnac and Nicholas Porco to tie the game at a goal apiece at 16:58 of the first period, before Spirit rookie superstar Cole Perfetti (14) scored his fourteenth of the year with assists coming from Blade Jenkins and D.J. Busdeker at the 17:32 mark, sending the Spirit into the first intermission with a 2-1 lead.
The Spitfires evened things up early in the middle frame when Cole Purboo(13) banged home a rebound goal with assists coming from Connor Corcoran and Jordan Frasca to knot the game at 2-goals apiece, but Saginaw would answer just 25-seconds later when New York Islanders prospect Bode Wilde (7) opened up a 3-2 Spirit lead with his seventh goal of the season from Michnac and Giroux at 4:01 of the second period.
Saginaw extended its lead early in the final frame when Jenkins (12) scored on a beautiful setup from Busdeker and Wilde for a 4-2 lead at the 7:09 mark, before the floodgates opened later in the third when Busdeker (8) scored his eighth of the year from Perfetti and Jenkins for a 5-2 Saginaw lead at the 13:53 mark, while Giroux (14) capped off the scoring with an unassisted goal, his second of the night for a 6-2 Spirit lead at 17:18 of the third period.
Windsor goal tender Colton Incze stopped 36 of the 42 shots he faced in net for the Spit's, while Spirit goal tender Ivan Prosvetov turned away 36 of the 38 shots he would see in between the pipes for Saginaw tonight.
The Spirit will be right back at it in less than 24-hours with a visit from another division rival when the Sarnia Sting (15-14-2-2) pay the Spirit a visit for a 7:05 pm face off here at the Dow tomorrow night.
Video of Blade Jenkins celly after scoring on a nice feed from D.J. Busdeker against Windsor tonight: