Misa’s late goal sends Spirit past Spitfires for fifth straight win
Windsor, Ont. – The Saginaw Spirit (9-7-0-1) defeated the Windsor Spitfires (4-13-1-0) in a thrilling back-and-forth-affair on Sunday night. Ethan Hay collected two goals, while Dean Loukus added a goal and three assists. Nolan Lalonde started for Saginaw stopping 24 of 29 shots, while Joey Costanzo guarded the create for the Spitfires stopping 26 of 31.
The first opened with a goal by the Windsor Spitfires only 1:48 into the period. Rodwin Dionicio began by passing to rookie Cole Davis, who slashed into the offensive zone. Davis’ drag move opened up a backhand pass to Alex Christopoulos who one-timed the puck on net. Saginaw goaltender Nolan Lalone, made a pad save that rebounded back out to Christopoulos He pounded home the rebound for his sixth goal of the year, and an early 1-0 for the Spitfires.
At the end of the first, the Windsor Spitfires were leading the Spirit 1-0 while also outshooting Saginaw 10-6 in the first.
Saginaw would get on the board for the first time in only 1:17 in the second period. Zayne Parekh began by shoveling a pass to Dean Loukus near the blue line. Loukus’s drag move opened the same area as Windsor’s Davis Cole assist, and found Hunter Haight open near the goal mouth. He batted home the pass for his sixth of the year, tying the game 1-1.
50 seconds later, the Spirit struck again after a brilliant play from rookie Aiden Young. After Young retrieved a missed shot from behind the net, his drop pass left Dean Loukus near the goal with options. His quick pass found Ethan Hay open on the near post. His quick shot in front of Windsor goaltender Joey Costanzo slipped into the net. Hay’s fifth of the year elevated Saginaw to a 2-1 lead.
Windsor struck next after Josef Eichler received an interference penalty at 7:05 into the second period. After the Spitfires killed the penalty off, a Saginaw shot rebounded off goaltender Costanzo, and pushed ahead by AJ Spellacy to the red line. The newly released Eichler swooped in and collected the puck heading up ice on a two-on-one. A quick shot on net from Eichler evaded the glove of Spirit goaltender Nolan Lalonde and into the corner netting. This goal was Eichler’s first career OHL goal, retying the game 2-2.
The visiting Spirit responded with a goal of their own 11:25 into the second. Ethan Hay tipped a pass from the side of the net out to Dean Loukus skating near the right circle. Loukus skated in, dragged the puck to his backhand and fired a shot on net. His shot slid past Costanzo and into the net for Loukus’s fourth of the year, and again putting Saginaw on top by one.
Valentin Zhugin added to the Saginaw lead 6:06 later after digging a puck out of a scrum near the side boards. After collecting the puck, Zhugin skatetoward the center of the offensive zone, and release and right handed shot on goal. His shot found a soft spot in the goal coverage by Joey Costanzo, and slipped in. This was Zhugin’s ninth of the year, extending the Spirit lead to 4-2.
The second period would end with Saginaw leading 4-2 over the Windsor Spitfires, outshooting them 15-11 in the period.
The third period’s batch of scoring would open from a goal from Windsor’s Cole Davis. After Liam Greentree found Davis, he was able to slip a shot past Laonde and into the net for his sixth of the year, bringing the Spitfires back to within one once again.
Saginaw would respond at 13:55 into the third after Ethan Hay’s second goal of the night. Zayne Parekh started the play off by passing to Dean Loukus sitting near the right circle. Loukus would sling a pass toward the crease, looking for Hay to tip the puck on goal. Hay was able to get a good stick-to-puck connection and knock the puck into the back of the cage. His sixth of the year and second of the game re-established the Spirit’s two goal lead.
Windsor crept back to within one goal after a beautifully setup play with a goal by Liam Greentree, assisted upon by Oliver Peer and Rodwin Dionicio. This was Greentree’s eleventh of the year and could not have come at a better time
The Spitfires would again score at 19:08 remaining in the period to tie the game up at five apiece. Liam Greentree would again be involved, this time as an assist-man, passing from Rodwin Dionicio then on to Cole Davis who slotted home his seventh of the year, tying the game at 5-5.
Late in regulation, Hunter Haight collected the puck and slashed down the left side of the ice. He found Michael Misa in the left-wing corner, who flung the puck off the back of Costanzo’s head and into the net for the 6-5 lead with 9.4 seconds left in regulation.
Saginaw’s win brought them to a 9-7-0-1 record and dropped Windsor to 4-13-1-0 on the year.
The Spirit’s next game will be on Friday, November 17th at Erie Insurance Arena to face the Erie Otters with a 7:00 pm puck drop
For media inquiries, contact Dillon Clark at [email protected].
Photo Credit: Remo Agostino – Windsor Spitfires