Monday, December 12, 2005

Spirit fall twice to London, Barrie

The Saginaw Spirit, despite losing both games last weekend, remain in a first-place tie with the Plymouth Whalers in the OHL's West Division.

Friday night in London, the defending OHL and Memorial Cup champs beat Saginaw, 4-2. Tom Pyatt and Anthony Soboczynski scored for the Spirit and goaltender Francois Thuot made 58 saves as the game's first star.

Thuot's save total is a new Spirit record for saves in regulation, eclipsing the mark of 56 set Nov. 15, 2002 by Tyson Kellerman in Kitchener against the Rangers. The most saves in an overtime game is held by Mike Brown who had 62 saves Nov. 14, 2003 in an overtime loss in Kitchener.

Saturday night at home, Ryan McDonough scored Saginaw's lone goal in a 2-1 loss to the Barrie Colts. The Spirit took a man-advantage into the final minute of the game, but the Colts broke out on Saginaw's power play and went ahead 2-1 on Matthew Bragg's shorthanded goal. Saginaw pulled Thuot for the final 20 seconds of the game, but were unable to force overtime.

Thuot finished with 27 saves.

The Spirit resume action Friday at Mississauga when they face the Ice Dogs for the first game of a three-game road trip before the Christmas break. The Spirit return home to face the Erie Otters on Dec. 28 as nine-time Stanley Cup champion coach Scotty Bowman will be appearing at the game.

The OHL Academic Player of the Month for November in the West Division is goaltender Ryan Daniels of the Saginaw Spirit. The 17-year-old from Pickering, Ontario, is a senior at Nouvel Catholic Central High School in Saginaw.

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