Saturday, March 11, 2006

Saginaw downs Sarnia, 5-2

The playoff bound Saginaw Spirit downed the Sarnia Sting Friday night in Sarnia, taking their record to 33-29-1-0 for 67 points.

Michal Birner earned the first star of the game with three assists and Ryan McDonough earned the second star of the game with two goals.

Spirit captain Patrick McNeill started the game in Saginaw’s favor with a power-play goal at 4:16 in the first period. Tom Pyatt and Birner assisted on McNeill’s 21st goal of the season.

Eight seconds into the second period, McDonough shot the puck past Sting netminder and former Plymouth Whaler Ryan Nie. Birner and Ryan Berard assisted. McDonough came back and scored again at 2:30 in the second with an assist from Birner and defenseman Garrett Sinfield.

Patrick Asselin made the game 4-0 with a shorthanded goal at 6:22 in the second off a feed from Vaclav Meidl, another former Whaler.

Sarnia reduced the Spirit’s lead to 4-1 when Sting defenseman Tyson Aitcheson scored at 16:53 in the second period.

The third period started with a Sarnia goal when Ryan McInerney got the puck past Spirit goalie Francois Thuot. The game remained 4-2 late into the third period until Tyson Gimblett put the puck into an empty Sarnia net at 19:42. Zack Torquato and Thuot earned assists on Gimblett’s goal.

Thuot had 35 saves in the Saginaw win.

The OHL West remains a hotly contested Division with Saginaw in second place with 67 points, the Whalers are in first place with 69 points and the Windsor Spitfires are in third place with 64 points. Saginaw is currently in sixth place in the OHL Western Conference.

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