Saturday Highlights: Spirit scoring flurry fuels big win
SAGINAW 6 – WINDSOR 5
Rookie forward Jake Goldowski (5, 6) camped out in the slot to score a pair of late goals including the game winner as the Saginaw Spirit took an important 6-5 win over the visiting Windsor Spitfires. The victory gives the Spirit sole possession of fifth in the Western Conference as Saginaw scored in bunches before an enthusiastic crowd of 4,832 at the Dow Event Center. The Spirit win featured three first period goals in a span of 23 seconds before Goldowski’s third period markers came 1:04 apart. Cole Coskey (23), Max Grondin (8), Mason Kohn (14) and Ryan Stepien (7) also found the scoresheet while veteran rearguard Marcus Crawford collected three assists. The Spirit outshot the Spitfires 34-24, going 2-for-3 on the power play. Windsor’s Jake Smith (12, 13) scored twice while Daniel D’Amico (7), Curtis Douglas (14) and Cedric Schiemenz (1) also lit the lamp. The Spirit improve to 24-18-4-0 in their first home game since January 13th. Windsor falls to 23-19-2-2.
KINGSTON 5 – OTTAWA 4 – OT
Dallas Stars prospect Jason Robertson (29, 30) scored his second of the afternoon with 33 seconds left in overtime as the Kingston Frontenacs got past the Ottawa 67’s 5-4 on the road. Los Angeles Kings first round pick Gabriel Vilardi (7) had another productive performance registering a goal and four assists while other goals came from Linus Nyman (24) and Cliff Pu (21). Blueliner Sean Day picked up two assists in the win including the primary helper on the OT winner as Kingston improved to 4-1 against Ottawa on the season. Austen Keating (20), Nikita Okhotyuk (4), Noel Hoefenmayer (5) and Sasha Chmelevski (22) responded with goals for the 67’s who were wearing their ‘killer puck’ themed jerseys in recognition of their 1997-2007 decade in franchise history. The shots were 31-apiece as Kingston improved to 24-16-4-3 while Ottawa earned a point and now sits at 19-21-4-3 for seventh in the Eastern Conference.
SAULT STE. MARIE 4 – BARRIE 3
Mac Hollowell (10) netted the game winner with 6:45 left in the third period as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds became the OHL’s first club to clinch a playoff spot in a closely-matched 4-3 win over the visiting Barrie Colts. Fellow blueliners Rasmus Sandin (6) and Jordan Sambrook (8) each had a goal and an assist while captain Tim Gettinger (27) also found the twine. The Hounds outshot the Colts 35-22, improving to 22-1-1-0 on home ice this season. Minnesota Wild prospect Dmitry Sokolov (27, 28) responded with a pair of goals for Barrie while fellow Russian Andrei Svechnikov (22) also tallied. Barrie surrenders first place in the Central Division to Niagara and now sits at 27-17-2-1 on the season.
OWEN SOUND 2 – GUELPH 1
Nico Daws and Olivier Lafreniere traded saves throughout the night before the Owen Sound Attack narrowly prevailed in a 2-1 home ice win over the Guelph Storm. Overage veteran Ethan Szypula (7) scored the game winner on a late second period power play as the Attack reaped the benefits of outshooting the Storm 47-25. Cade Robinson (7) also scored while Alan Lyszczarczyk recorded two assists, helping the Bears climb to within three points of seventh place Guelph in the Western Conference. Lafreniere earned first star honours with 24 saves, surrendering Guelph’s lone goal off the stick of Cam Hillis (18).
KITCHENER 5 – FLINT 3
Logan Brown (14, 15) and Adam Mascherin (32, 33) each scored twice and added an assist while Kole Sherwood recorded four helpers against his former club as the Kitchener Rangers took a 5-3 win in Flint. The trio of Brown, Sherwoo and Mascherin connected for 10 combined points, giving them 21 in two games this weekend. Nick McHugh (9) also tallied for the Blueshirts as they outshot Flint 40-23 for their sixth straight win. 2018 NHL Draft prospect Ty Dellandrea (18) had a shorthanded goal and an assist for the Firebirds while defencemen Nikita Alexandrov (2) and Riley McCourt (3) both found the back of the net. The Firebirds drop their third straight decision and fall to 13-29-3-1. Kitchener leads the Midwest Division by a 12-point margin, boasting a 33-14-2-0 record.
SARNIA 4 – ERIE 1
The Sarnia Sting cruised to their seventh win in the past eight games as Jordan Ernst (23), Adam Ruzicka (28), Cam Dineen (14) and Drake Rymsha (23) had goals in a 4-1 road win over the Erie Otters. OHL scoring leader Jordan Kyrou pushed his current point streak to nine games with two assists while Aidan Hughes made 29 saves in the crease. Erie’s lone goal came off the stick of Gera Poddubnyi (12) while goaltender Daniel Murphy made 31 saves in defeat. Sarnia improves to 33-12-3-0 for third in the Western Conference while Erie has lost five in a row and nine of the last 10, sitting 12 points out of a playoff spot at 13-26-6-3.
NIAGARA 6 – SUDBURY 2
The Niagara IceDogs continued their strong play, scoring six times on 34 shots in a 6-2 road win over the Sudbury Wolves. Colton Incze earned first star honours with a 29-save performance in goal while Bradey Johnson (9), Johnny Corneil (14), Akil Thomas (13), Ben Jones (17), Matthew Philip (13) and Billy Constantinou (2) provided the scoring. Anthony Tabak (5) and Peter Stratis (5) scored for the Wolves while rookie Blake Murray extended his point streak to eight games with an assist. The win puts the IceDogs back atop the Central Division with a 26-14-4-2 record while Sudbury falls to 13-29-6-0, 11 points out of a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference.
HAMILTON 5 – OSHAWA 1
The Hamilton Bulldogs climbed out to a 4-0 lead and didn’t look back, defeating the visiting Oshawa Generals 5-1 for their fourth straight win. Montreal Canadiens prospect Will Bitten (17) had a goal and two assists while Brandon Saigeon (26) and Robert Thomas (22) both had a goal and an assist. Nicholas Caamano (23) and Arthur Kaliyev (20) also scored for the Dogs as they outshot Oshawa 41-20, going 2-for-3 on the power play. Kaden Fulcher turned aside 19 shots as Hamilton improved to 31-10-3-3 atop the Eastern Conference. The Generals drop their third straight decision as 2018 NHL Draft prospect Allan McShane (11) provided their lone marker of the afternoon. Oshawa holds down sixth in the Eastern Conference, one point back of fifth place North Bay with a 22-22-3-0 record.