Misa’s three helpers lead Spirit to seventh straight win, 3-2
St. Catharines, Ont. – The Saginaw Spirit (11-7-0-1) defeated the Niagara Ice Dogs (4-11-4-1), 3-2 at the Meridian Centre for their seventh straight win. Michael Misa had three assists and newly acquired Rodwin Dionicio recorded his first Spirit goal. Andrew Oke started for the Saginaw stopping 23 of 25 and Owen Flores played opposite him, stopping 28 of 31 for Niagara.
Rodwin Dionicio started off by finding Michael Misa streaking through the neutral zone early in the first period. Misa crossed the Niagara blue line and backhanded a pass to Hunter Haight. His speed allowed him to seal off the Ice Dogs’ defender and place a shot over the left shoulder of Flores and into the net. His seventh of the year and fiftieth of his OHL career set Saginaw up with a 1-0 lead.
At 15:19 into the period Niagara’s Kevin He took his second penalty of the period, and put the Spirit up on the power-play. 30 seconds into the extra man opportunity, Michael Misa slashed down the left side boards and flipped the puck behind him to Calem Mangone. His quick pass to Zayne Parekh allowed the defender the rip a shot behind Ice Dogs goaltender Owen Flores to put Saginaw up 2-0.
After offsetting penalties by Saginaw’s Will Bishop and Niagara’s Andrew Vermeulen, the period would end with the Spirit leading 2-0 while outshooting the IceDogs 7-5.
Only 11 seconds into the second period, a barrage of penalties would take place. After a faceoff, Niagara’s Ryan Humprey skated toward Saginaw’s Zayne Parek. Following a pair of shoves by both, Saginaw’s Braden Haché jumped in followed by the other seven skaters on the ice. After sorting everything out, the officiating crew assessed four game misconducts penalties, and a four-on-three powerplay for the Spirit, leading to a five-on-four powerplay for the Ice Dogs.
On the Saginaw power play, Niagara’s Michael Podolioukh cleared the puck down the ice with Spirit goaltender Andrew Oke going behind the net to collect the puck. The puck found a soft spot on the ice and stopped in the unplayable area next to the trapezoid. Niagara’s Gavin Bryant collected the puck, slipped past Dionicio and skated to the front of the net. A pirouetting shot sailed past a scrambling Andrew Oke and into the net, putting the IceDogs on the board and netting Bryant his sixth of the year.
Niagara would tie the game up with only 14 seconds left in the second after a faceoff in the Saginaw defensive zone. Michael Podolioukh won the faceoff for the Ice Dogs with the puck going straight to the left to Kevin He. His quick move and shot past Oke cemented his tenth on the year, setting a 2-2 scoreline.
This closed the second period at a 2-2 tie with Niagara out shooting Saginaw 12-7 in the period and 17-15 overall.
The Spirit came out strong in the third with the game winning goal at 1:39 into the period. Hunter Haight slung a pass to Michael Misa who played a pass off to former Rodwin Dionicio. He looked across the ice looking for his trade partner Alex Christopoulos. Dionicio’s saucer pass deflected off of an IceDogs defender and into the net for a 3-2 Saginaw lead.
The puck continued to fly up and down the ice for the remainder of the third period, however the Spirit would prevail with a 3-2 win.
Saginaw’s seventh win in a row brought the Spirit to (11-7-0-1) and dropped the Ice Dogs to (4-11-4-1).
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