The Saginaw Spirit (4-4-1-0) struggled to capitalize on quality scoring chances in a 4-0 shutout loss to the Peterborough Petes at the Dow Event Center in downtown Saginaw, MI Wednesday night.
Saginaw head coach Chris Lazary was happy with his team's performance through two periods, but admits the final 20-minutes of games have been an issue this year.
“I thought for the first forty minutes we carried the play,” Lazary said. “We had tons of opportunities to put pucks on the net, but we found a way to make one extra pass and not score. But, at the end of the day, for lot's of reasons, our the third period is killing us this year.”
With the game scoreless coming out of the second intermission, the Petes would get on the board early in the final frame when Peterborough RW Cameron Butler (3) scored on a feed from Zach Gallant to take a 1-0 lead at 1:34 of the third period, before a Spirit hooking penalty just 51-seconds later led to a power play goal from Petes LW Liam Kirk (5) for a 2-0 Petes lead at the 2:25 mark.
Peterborough extended the lead midway through the final period when Mason McTavish (5) redirected a pass from Declan Chisholm on an odd-man rush for a 3-0 lead at 9:39 of the third period, while Nick Robertson (9) capped the scoring with an unassisted goal for a 4-0 lead at the 17:41 mark.
Lazary realizes that with so many new players on the roster it may take a little time for this team to find its groove, so he isn't quite ready to hit the panic button just yet.
“We were five-hundred after twenty games last year, everyone keeps forgetting that,” Lazary said. “We have a lot of new guys, there's nine new players, so it's going to be a process. There's a lot of really good things in our game, but there are a lot of things we need to clean up and it just takes time.”
Saginaw goal tender Tristan Lennox managed to turn away 16 of the 20 shots he faced in net for the Spirit Wednesday, while his counterpart Hunter Jones from the Petes stopped all 23 shots to earn the shutout for Peterborough.
The Spirit will look to get back on track with a big west division matchup against the London Knights right back here at the Dow Event Center at 7:05 pm on Saturday night.