Friday, March 31, 2006

Spirit swept away by Guelph

The Saginaw Spirit fell to the Guelph Storm Thursday night at home, 4-3, ending a successful season and the first playoff appearance in team history.

In what was to be his last game in a Spirit uniform, overager Jesse Gimblett (pictured) wasted no time putting Saginaw on the scoreboard with two consecutive goals. Gimblett’s first goal came 30 seconds into the game from assists by Tom Pyatt and captain Patrick McNeill. On a power play less than 90 seconds later, Gimblett shot the puck past Guelph goalie Ryan MacDonald, giving the Spirit a 2-0 lead. Michal Birner and McNeill assisted on the goal.

The game remained in Saginaw’s favor until the second period when Guelph forward Jamie Arniel scored at the 54-second mark. Jason Pitton tied up the game roughly two minutes later.

The game would remained tied until the third period when Storm forward Kelsey Wilson scored a power-play goal, giving Guelph a 3-2 lead. The Storm would increase their lead thanks to an unassisted goal from forward Matt D’Agostini.

Despite the 4-2 score in favor of Guelph, the Spirit kept pushing, finally scoring a goal at the 19:07 mark in the third. Pyatt put the puck past McDonald off Birner and Ryan McDonough assists. But time wasn’t on the Saginaw’s side however, as the clock expired before the Spirit were able to tie up the game.

Spirit netminder Ryan Daniels had 29 saves in the game.

The Spirit end the year with its most successful season since its move from North Bay, Ontario. The team earned second place in the OHL West Division with a record of 36-30-2-0 and 74 points.

Saginaw has an exciting off-season planned with community and team events. Keep up to date on all Spirit news by visiting the Spirit website.

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