WinterFest & The Saginaw Spirit

Game Recap

    icon Feb 13, 2011
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Winter fest 2011 culminated with an exciting win for the Saginaw Spirit Hockey Club. I made it downtown Saturday February, 12th to The Dow Event Center where I was fortunate to watch the Saginaw Spirit and Kitchener Rangers in an OHL western conference “Battle Royale.” The Spirit pulled off an amazing 3-2 Overtime-Shootout win in front of a sellout crowd at “The Dow.”

The win put the Spirit’s record at 34 wins-16 losses-1 overtime loss- and 3 losses by way of shootout for the 2010-11 OHL season. Saturday’s win also extended Saginaw’s first place west division lead in the OHL’s western conference. Saginaw now sits alone in 4th place overall in the entire OHL with 72 points.

Anthony Camara lit the red light first for the Spirit just over a minute into the game at the 18:45 mark of the 1st period. Saginaw’s native son, Defenseman, Brad Walch got the lone assist on Camara’s goal. Kitchener Defenseman, Jamie Doornbasch then tied the game at the 4:40 mark of the 1st period on a power play goal assisted by Jerry D’Amigo and Jason Akeson. The Spirit went ahead at the 15:53 mark of the 1st period on a power play goal. Defenseman Peter Hermenegildo was set up on the right point when he dropped a nice pass down low to John McFarland who was set up at the right side circle. McFarland quickly found Vincent Trochek with a laser-like pass in the high slot for a tic-tac-toe one timer. Trochek promptly buried the puck in the net (Stick side high). The Kitchener net minder, Brandon Maxwell, didn’t stand a chance at stopping this beauty of a goal. Trochek’s goal was his 21st goal of the season for the Spirit Sniper. The first period ended with a 2-1 Spirit lead.

Both teams played a defensive battle in the 2nd period. Saginaw Goalie, Mavric Parks stood on his head all night. This was most evident around the 6:55 point of the 2nd period. He withstood a 3 shot Ranger barrage in less than 10 seconds that ended with Saginaw’s Brandon Archibald and Kitchener’s Matthew Tipoff both receiving roughing minors after a tussle in front of the Spirit Crease. Seconds after the pair were carted off for roughing penalties, the resulting 4on4 play caused another frenzy in front of the Spirit Goalie, but the veteran Parks made two more key saves. One of which where he twisted his spine around like a coiled spring while making a backhanded save. The two teams made it through 19 minutes and 38 seconds of the 2nd period with neither team scoring until, with 22 seconds left, Kitchener’s Gabriel Landeskog took a Spirit giveaway in their own zone and netted an unassisted goal to tie the game at two.

The 3rd was another defensive battle with neither team scoring a goal throughout the whole 20 minute period. The two Ontario Hockey League powerhouse teams then went to a five minute overtime that ended with the game still tied. According to OHL rules, if neither team has scored by the end of the overtime, they then will go to a shootout format.

Both Goalies stopped the first 3 skater’s each had faced in the shootout. Saginaw finally took the advantage when John McFarland pulled the puck to his backhand and went “top shelf” on Kitchener’s Brandon Maxwell. It was now all up to Kitchener’s Ryan Murphy. If he could score, then he would extend the shootout until one team gained an advantage. A Kitchener advantage was not to be because Saginaw’s Goalie (with the greatest name in hockey) Mavric Parks took away the whole left side of the net and stoned the young Irish Lad, Ryan Murphy. Parks stopped all four of the Rangers he faced in the Shootout, earning his Spirit Team the exciting win.

Saginaw’s defense cannot go un-noticed in this victory. They didn’t allow any shots in the whole five minute overtime period, which was a key to the win. Saginaw native Brad Walch was like a wall, standing Ranger attackers up at the blue line throughout the night. Both Goalies were also great in this contest between two of the OHL’s elite Teams. Saginaw scored 3 goals on 38 Shots, while Kitchener scored two goals on 38 shots.

Saginaw will host the Barrie Colts Thursday February, 17th at The Dow Event Center. The Puck drops at 7:11 p.m.

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