Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Training camp starts Friday in Saginaw

The Saginaw Spirit will open defense of its West Division regular season crown earned a season ago with the commencement of its 2011-12 main camp at the Dow Event Center this week.

The camp will open with 44 players in attendance, including 17 from last year’s squad.

Among the returnees are four Spirit players that were selected in the 2011 NHL Draft this past June: Brandon Saad (2nd Round Chicago), Vince Trocheck (3rd Round Florida), Anthony Camara (3rd Round Boston), and Josh Shalla (4th Round Nashville), along with the recently signed Jamie Oleksiak (1st Round Dallas). Other returning veterans include John McFarland (2nd Round Florida 2010), Brandon Archibald (4th Round Columbus 2010) Ryan O’Connor, Garret Ross (Washington Invite 2011), Brad Walch and goaltenders Tad Galansky and Jake Paterson (NHL eligible 2012).

Four other players with OHL experience will also be in attendance including three skaters acquired in the offseason in Michael Fine (Kingston), Steven Strong (Belleville) and Dean Pawlaczyk (Barrie/Sarnia). Former Belleville Bull Jan Kaminsky has also been invited to the Spirit’s main camp.

Saginaw will also feature its three top picks from the 2011 OHL Priority Selection, and their first selection from the 2011 CHL Import Draft in Nick Moutrey (1st Round), Sam Povorozniouk (2nd Round), Jimmy Lodge (3rd Round) and Vadim Khlopotov (1st Round, CHL Import Draft).

The Spirit will open their preseason schedule on Friday, September 9 as they travel to Sarnia to face the Sting, with the same two teams returning to the Dow Event Center one night later. The exhibition season will wrap up with a home-and-home set with the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds Friday, September 16 at the Essar Center and on Saturday, September 17 on home ice.

Saginaw and the Great Lakes Bay Region will welcome back the Spirit for the 2011-12 regular season for home opening weekend on September 30 versus the Kitchener Rangers and the following night against Ottawa. The game against the 67’s will feature the raising of the championship banner from this past season’s West Division title.

The following is the team’s on-ice schedule and fans are encouraged to attend the sessions.

Friday, September 2
10:00 am Practice (Team White)
11:00 am Practice (Team Blue)
3:00pm Scrimmage

Saturday, September 3
9:00 am Scrimmage
3:00 pm Scrimmage

Sunday, September 4
10:00 am Practice

Monday, September 5
10:00 am Practice

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