The Saginaw Spirit (1-2) gave up three third period goals en route to a 7-5 road loss to the Windsor Spitfires (2-1) in front of 3,429 at the WFCU Centre in Windsor, ON Thursday night.
Saginaw out-shot Windsor by a 36-22 margin, however, a strong performance from the Spitfires' goal tending duo of Michael DiPietro (a third round pick of the Vancouver Canucks in the 2017 NHL draft) and his backup Kari Piiroinen (who replaced DiPietro after he left with an injury) turned out to be the difference in the game.
The Spirit jumped out to an early lead when Albert Michnac (3) scored his third goal of the season with assists coming from Detroit Red Wings' prospects Brady Gilmour and Reilly Webb for a 1-0 Saginaw lead just :29 seconds into the game, before second year Spirit forward Nicholas Porco (2) followed with his second of the season from Damien Giroux and Bode Wilde just 36-seconds later for a 2-0 lead at the 1:05 mark of the first period.
Windsor answered just 40-seconds following the Porco goal when Jordan Frasca (1) cut the Saginaw lead to 2-1 at 1:45 of the opening period, while Spit's defenseman Grayson Ladd (1) knotted the game at 2-goals apiece with his first of the season at 10:47 of the first period.
Second year Spirit forward Jake Goldowski (1) put the Spirit back on top with his first of the season from Ryan Stepien and Camaryn Baber for a 3-2 Spirit lead at 16:58 of the first period, but Windsor responded again when rookie Jean-Luc Foudy (Windsor's top pick, No. 10 overall, in the 2018 OHL priority selection draft) scored his first career OHL goal to tie the game at 3-goals apiece at 18:04 of the first.
Saginaw veteran forward Cole Coskey (1) followed with his first of the year with assists from Wilde and Michnac at the 19:27 mark, giving the Spirit a 4-3 lead heading into the first intermission.
The Spit's knotted the game when rookie defenseman Connor Corcoran (1) scored his first career OHL goal, chasing Spirit starting goal tender Cam Lamour for rookie Tristan Lennox after tying the game at 4-goals apiece at 3:16 of the second period, as neither team scored another goal throughout the middle frame, skating to the second intermission tied at 4-goals each.
Windsor RW Luke Boka (1) scored his first of the season to give the Spit's a 5-4 lead at 2:33 of the third period, before Windsor defenseman Nathan Staios (1) added a power play goal just 40-seconds later, giving the Spit's a 6-4 lead at 3:13 of the final period.
The Spitfires virtually put the game out of reach when Tyler Angle (2) scored his second of the season for a 7-4 Windsor lead at 13:12 of the third period, while Spirit forward Blade Jenkins (a fifth round draft pick of the New York Islanders in the 2018 NHL draft) managed to cut the Windsor lead to 7-5 with his first goal of the season, a power play goal from Mason Millman and Porco, at 18:11 of the final period.
DiPietro stopped 17 of the 21 shots he faced throughout the first 40-minutes in net for the Spit's, as Piiroinen turned away 14 of the 15 shots he saw in the remaining 20-minutes between the pipes for Windsor tonight, while Lamour stopped 3 of the 7 shots he faced throughout the first 23:16 in net for Saginaw, before Lennox turned away 12 of the 15 shots he saw in the final 35:27 in his OHL debut for the Spirit.
The Spirit will look to bounce back when the Guelph Storm (0-2) come to town for a 7:05 pm home game at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw Saturday night.