The Saginaw Spirit (13-14-3-2) had its recent four game win streak come to a screeching halt at the Essar Centre in Sault Ste. Marie, ON with a 5-3 inter-division loss to the Ontario Hockey Leagues No. 2 team, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (23-8-2-0) earlier tonight.
The Spirit had beaten the Soo 4-0 at the Essar Centre earlier in November, however, tonight it was the Greyhounds who jumped out to a 4-0 lead with four straight goals in the first half of the second period.
The Spirit cranked up the pressure on Soo goal tender Joseph Raaymakers while on the power play following a penalty to Soo forward Morgan Frost, who was whistled for a 2-minute tripping minor at 4:23 of the third period.
The Soo did manage to kill the penalty, however, Spirit veteran forward Kris Bennett (8) found the back of the net for his eighth goal of the season just as the penalty expired at 6:27 of the third period, with assists coming from C.J. Garcia and Keaton Middleton.
Coskey (5) then lit the red lamp after taking a pass from Jesse Barwell for his fifth goal of the season at 8:41 of the third period.
Spirit right wing Kirill Maksimov (4) added his fourth goal of the season, beating Raaymakers on the gloveside with assists coming from Marcus Crawford and recently signed defenseman Chet Phillips at the 12:51 mark of the third period to round out the Spirit scoring.
Soo forward Hayden Verbeek, nephew of former Red Wing Pat Verbeek (aka, the little ball of hate) added an empty-net insurance goal at the 19:02 mark of the final period.
Spirit goal tender Brendan Bonello put together another strong performance as he managed to turn away 23 of the 27 shots he would face in net tonight, while his counterpart, Raaymakers stopped 17 of the 20 shots he faced.
Neither team managed to convert a power play opportunity as the Soo went 0 for 2, while the Spirit was 0 for 4 on its power play chances tonight.
The Spirit will look to start another streak when it hosts the Sarnia Sting at the Dow Event Center for a 7:05 pm face off tomorrow night in the annual Teddy Bear toss game.