Goals from Dionicio, Haight, Parekh push Spirit past Greyhounds
Photo: Cameron Palumbo
Sault Ste. Marie, Ont. – The Saginaw Spirit (15-8-0-1) grabbed a win against the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds (16-8-2-0) in the second half of a home-and-home by a score of 3-1 on the road on Friday night. Zayne Parekh collected a two-point night including the unassisted insurance goal. Rodwin Dionicio and Hunter Haight scored with Matyas Sapovaliv and Calem Mangone picking up an assist each. Andrew Oke had a phenomenal game for the Spirit saving 27 of 28 in the win, while Charlie Schenkel started for the Greyhounds shutting down 25 of 28.
The game’s scoring started out about half-way through the first period. Calem Mangone fed a pass up the left side to Rodwin Dionicio streaking up the left side. After crossing the blueline, Dionicio drove the net looking for a shooting opportunity. While not finding an open look, Dionicio skated behind the net and wrapped the puck around the post, stuffing the puck through the left pad of Soo goaltender Charlie Schenkel. This was Dionico’s ninth of the year and fourth with the Spirit, setting a 1-0 Saginaw lead.
Sault Ste. Marie responded at 12:03 into the first period on a goal from Brady Martin. The play began with a Greyhounds offensive possession as Travis Hayes skated with the puck at the fair boards. A quick pass to the slot opened a back skating Alex Kostov open for a shot. His attempt was stifled by Spirit goaltender Andrew Oke and rebounded out to Brady Martin. A quick shot by Martin passed by Oke and flew into the net, tying the game 1-1.
Despite going on the penalty kill three times in the period, Saginaw and Sault Ste. Marie remained tied 1-1 with shots being in the Spirit’s favor 11 to 7.
Saginaw extended their lead after a high sticking penalty on Soo defender Andrew Gibson. Hunter Haight lined up for the faceoff at the right circle, knocking the puck to the right boards. A pass back to defender Zayne Parekh led to a quick pass to Matyas Sapovaliv standing at the left side boards. Sapovaliv looked toward the slot and laced a pass to Haight circling in the high slot. A quick shot by the Saginaw forward missed the glove of Charlie Schenkel and hit the netting for Haight’s tenth of the year and a 2-1 lead.
The second period continued to much back-and-forth play, however Saginaw would hang on to their lead, entering the second intermission up 2-1 while outshooting the Greyhounds 11 to 10 in the second period, and 22 to 17 overall.
The Spirit extended their lead only 4:08 into the third period. The Greyhounds collected the puck in the neutral zone and looked to move up ice. A misfired pass left the puck alone near center ice. Zayne Parekh picked up the puck and skated into the zone guarded by three Soo defenders. Parekh took the space and wristed a shot on goal, just under the glove of goaltender Charlie Schenkel and into the net. This goal was Zayne Parekh’s tenth of the year and gave Saginaw a 3-1 lead.
With 2:00 minutes remaining in the third period, Sault Ste. Marie pulled their goaltender in favor of the extra skater, hoping for a few extra chances. The Spirit defense and Andrew Oke fought off all of the Greyhound advances, solidifying a 3-1 win outshooting the Soo 29 to 28.
Saginaw’s win elevated them to 15-8-0-1 on the year while dropping Sault Ste. Marie to 16-8-2-0 and putting the Spirit three points behind the Greyhounds in the West Division
Saginaw’s next game is on Saturday, December 2nd back home at the Dow Event Center for a matchup against the London Knights. Puck drop is set for 7:05pm on Superhero night.
For media inquiries, contact Dillon Clark at [email protected]..