Monday, March 07, 2005

Spirit eliminated from OHL post-season

Saginaw dropped all three games over the weekend and in doing so were eliminated from the OHL post-season for the third consecutive year.

The Spirit went into London Friday night and came out suffering a 12-0 defeat, their worst in the three years in Saginaw, to the top team in the OHL. Goalie Jeff Weber did make 35 saves in the lone bright spot for Saginaw (17-40-3-4).

Then Saturday night in front of a sellout crowd, Sudbury escaped with a 3-2 win as Saginaw rookie goalie Ryan Daniels stopped 29 shots in his home debut.

"I had a lot of confidence in the players," Daniels said. "It was nice playing in front of so many fans. They're noise gives us guys energy on the ice."

Tom Mannino and Tom Pyatt scored for the Spirit.

Sunday against Windsor, the visiting Spitfires took a 3-2 win that mathematically eliminated Saginaw from the playoffs.

"No one gave up today. We played with a lot of effort and pride," Spirit head coach and general manager Bob Mancini said. "We're going to battle hard in the remaining games. Everyone on this young team is still learning."

Jesse Gimblett and Marek Kvapil scored for Saginaw and Weber had 25 saves.

Third-year forward Daniel Borges said he and his teammates knew what was on the line for the game.

"We competed longer and later than ever before," Borges said of the playoff run. "This year's loss is next year's gain."

The Spirit return to action Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie against the division-leading Greyhounds. The Hounds travel to Saginaw Saturday for the Spirit home finale.

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