Thursday, October 27, 2005

Spirit beat 'Hounds, first in West

With their 2-1 win Wednesday night in Sault Ste. Marie, the Saginaw Spirit vaulted into first place in the OHL's West Division.

Saginaw now has 16 points, one better than the Plymouth Whalers.

Joe McCann (left) scored the game-winner out of mid-air early in the second period and Tom Pyatt's power-play goal 8:24 into the first period gave the Spirit an early 1-0 lead.

"This was a total team win," said Saginaw coach-GM Bob Mancini. "If we're going to continue on our quest to be a good team, we have to find different ways to win. Whether you play one minute or 30 minutes, you have to give your best every time on the ice and good things will happen."

Spirit goaltender Francois Thuot turned back 19 shots into the 13th minute of the second period, when he removed himself from the game, to be replaced by goalie Ryan Daniels, who finished with 10 saves.

Brett Halstead scored a power-play goal 35 seconds into the second period for Sault Ste. Marie's lone goal.

"We had to dig down deep for this one," said Mancini. "We played the clock well, made smart decisions and kept the game simple."

Saginaw returns to action Saturday against the Kitchener Rangers at 7:11 p.m. at the Dow Event Center.

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