Monday, February 18, 2008

Saginaw plays two at home this weekend

This weekend, the Saginaw Spirit hosts the Brampton Battalion Thursday night, head to London Friday to take on the Knights and then return to home for a Saturday matchup against the Oshawa Generals.

Brampton Battalion
February 21st; 7:11 PM
TheDow Event Center, Saginaw

The Brampton Battalion is ranked first in the OHL Central Division and second in the OHL Eastern Conference with 73 points and a record of 35-19-1-2. Thursday’s contest marks the second of two games between the two teams with the Spirit having beat the Battalion, 2-1, on Dec. 16. Jack Combs and Tomas Zaborsky tallied goals in the contest.

The Battalion boasts one of the most offensive defenseman in the league in Bobby Sanguinetti, who has posted 57 points (21-36--57) in 50 games this season and is currently one of the top three scoring defensemen in the OHL. Former Plymouth Whaler Zack Shepley (0-5-5) and captain John de Gray (3-12-15) are also staples on the blue line. Forwards John Hughes (27-55-82), Cody Hodgson (35-35-70) and Detroit Red Wings' prospect Cory Emmerton (19-33-52) drive the offense that has tallied 216 goals in 57 games this season. Goalie Bryan Pitton has posted a 2.56 goals-against average and a .910 save percentage in 32 games this season.

London Knights
February 22nd; 7:30 PM
John Labatt Centre, London

The London Knights are currently in possesion of the fourth playoff seed and home ice advantage in the OHL Western Conference with 71 points and a record of 33-19-3-2. The Spirit is 1-1-1-0 against the Knights this season, having lost their last contest, 5-2, on Jan. 4. Combs and Zaborsky have each tallied four points against London this season.

Rookie Patrick Maroon (32-51-83) has jumped right into the scoring gap left by Patrick Kane (Chicago Blackhawks) and Sam Gagner (Edmonton Oilers). He currently leads the team’s offense that also features Akim Aliu (25-30-55), Phil Varone (10-38-48) and Justin Taylor (23-23-46). Defenseman Steven Tarasuk (5-27-32) leads the blue line with a plus-29 rating. Goalie Jason Guy has posted a 4.22 goals-against average and a .882 save percentage in 33 games this season.

Oshawa Generals
February 23rd; 7:11 PM
TheDow Event Center, Saginaw

The Oshawa Generals are ranked third in the OHL Eastern Conference with 76 points and a record of 35-14-2-4. The Spirit lost 4-2 to the Generals on Dec. 6. Combs and Ryan McDonough have each notched a goal against the Generals this season.

Winger Brett MacLean (50-54-104) and center John Tavares (35-65-100) are in a scoring race against each other, with the two combining for over 200 points. Former Spirit winger Patrick Asselin (37-28-65) is the team’s third leading scorer. Defenseman Michael Del Zotto (13-40-53) leads the defensemen in scoring production, while defenseman and captain Eric Regan (6-37-43) leads the team with a plus-22. Goalie Michal Neuvirth, another former Whaler, has posted a 2.89 goals-against average and a .909 save percentage in 25 games.

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