Saturday, February 18, 2006

Saginaw beats Sarnia, 3-2, at 19:59

The Saginaw Spirit downed division rival Sarnia on a last-second goal Friday night, 3-2. The Spirit victory takes Saginaw within a point of the West Division lead with 14 games remaining in the regular season.

Saginaw struck first in the first period, on the power play, when forward Zack Torquato hit defenseman Tyson Gimblett off a faceoff, for Gimblett's third goal of the season. The Sting equalized five minutes later on a goal from defenseman Mark Katic.

Sarnia took a 2-1 lead in the second period, when winger Harrison Reed scored at 7:19.

But Saginaw tied the game 2-2 early in the third period. Spirit defenseman Tommy Mannino, in his first game since returning from an October injury, scored at 3:37 from Jesse Gimblett and Jack Combs. The Spirit held the Sting scoreless, but after killing a penalty in the final three minutes of the game, turned around and scored at the last second to take the 3-2 win in regulation. Spirit captain Patrick McNeill hit forward Michal Birner (pictured) for the game-winner at 19:59.

Spirit goalie Francois Thuot made 34 saves in the effort.

The win takes Saginaw's record to 28-25-1-0, with 57 points. The Spirit resume action Saturday at 7:11 p.m. at the Dow Event Center. It's 70's night, with fun and prizes for fans in costume, and a visit from the Hanson Brothers from the movie "Slap Shot."

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