Monday, November 07, 2005

Saginaw's win streak ends in Windsor

Saginaw's win streak ended at eight games as the Spirit dropped an 8-2 decision Sunday afternoon in Windsor against the Spitfires.

"I'm not disappointed with our effort," said Spirit coach-GM Bob Mancini. "We just weren't ready to put together three games in two-and-a-half days. But every lesson we learned from our eight game streak was important and we learned some important lessons from this loss to Windsor as well."

Ryan McDonough and Joe McCann scored for Saginaw. Ryan Daniels started in net and played 40 minutes and had 18 saves in the loss. Jovica Zelenbaba played the final 20 minutes and had nine saves in his OHL debut after getting called-up from the Kitchener Junior Rangers major midget program.

Zelenbaba was a ninth-round pick of Saginaw in last May's OHL draft.

"We're happy to have a goaltender like Jovica available to activate," said Mancini. "He has the potential to be a fine goalie for our team and in the Ontario Hockey League."

Saturday night at home, the Spirit came from behind to beat the Oshawa Generals, 7-5. Saginaw goaltender Francois Thuot stopped 33 shots in the effort, including a penalty shot against the OHL's top draft pick, 15-year-old John Tavares.

McDonough had two goals and two assists, Tom Pyatt (pictured) two goals and an assist, Michal Birner three assists, Zack Torquato two goals and captain Patrick McNeill added a goal and an assist.

Oshawa led, 3-0, after the first period.

"We were down in the first period and didn't play that well," McNeill said. "But we were able to learn from that and get back into the game."

At home Friday night, the Spirit took a 3-1 win over the Toronto St. Michael's Majors. Torquato, Birner and Tyson Gimblett scored for Saginaw, who got a 36-save performance from Daniels.

"Toronto rolled three good, talented offensive lines against us," Spirit associate head coach Ian Herbers said. "But we were able to play our game and our defense stepped up when we needed them."

The Spirit remain in first place in the OHL's West Division and are just one point back of Western Conference-leading Guelph Storm for the top spot in the conference.

Saginaw returns to action Friday when the Spirit take on Oshawa for the first game of a three-game Eastern Conference swing. Saginaw returns home Friday, Nov. 18 to face the Brampton Battalion.

No comments: