Lalonde earns 14th straight victory, 5-2 over Otters
Photo: Eric Young
Saginaw, Mich. – The Saginaw Spirit (36-13-0-1) welcomed the Erie Otters (23-24-4-0) to the Dow Event Center on Saturday, February 10th. Rodwin Dionicio ended the night with a pair of goals as the Spirit would get their first regulation win in the month of February. Nolan Lalonde, who has now won 14 games in a row as a starter, stopped 26 of 28 shots for the Spirit while Boe Piroski stopped 25 of 30 shots for the Otters.
Halfway through the first period, the first penalty of the game occurred. Erie’s Kaleb Smith received a slashing call, giving Saginaw their first power play opportunity of the night.
The Spirit soon took advantage of the power play opportunity. After collecting a cross ice pass from Jorian Donovan, Rodwin Dionicio rifled a shot from point-blank range, sending the puck into the roof of the net for a power play goal. Owen Beck also received an assist.
With six minutes left in the first, Saginaw extended their lead to two. Josh Glavin made a long pass to Josh Bloom who proceeded to take off up ice. Bloom took a shot on goal with the puck bouncing off of Piroski’s pads and rolling in behind him.
With 4:48 left in the first, Erie responded. After stealing the puck from the Spirit, Matthew Schaefer found his way up-ice and fired the puck from the right inner hash marks. The puck was just out of reach for Lalonde as it bounced off the left post and in for the Otters’ first goal of the game.
The first period ended with Saginaw leading Erie, 2-1. Both teams had the same amount of shots on goal though with seven.
With 11:42 left in the second period, The Erie Otters managed to tie the game. After receiving the puck off a scrum on the far wall, Bruce McDonald took the puck and flipped the puck over Lalondes pads into the nylon. Brett Hammond was credited with an assist on this goal as well as Nicholas Holomego.
Halfway through the second, Saginaw broke the tie. Owen Beck made a drop pass to Joey Willis in the neutral zone, with Willis soon taking off up ice. Willis shot the puck from the left circle, sending it past Piroski’s glove to give the Spirit back the lead.
With five minutes left in the second, Rodwin Dionicio scored his second goal of the game after smashing a one timer from the point right over Piroski’s shoulder. Both Josh Bloom and Matyas Sapovaliv earned assists with this goal as well.
The second period ended with Saginaw leading, 4-2, as well as outshooting Erie, 22-18 (15-11 in the second).
With 17 minutes left in the game, the Spirit continued to add to their lead. After winning a faceoff in Erie’s zone, Zayne Parekh took a point shot that was deflected by Owen Beck to set the final scoreline.
The Saginaw Spirit defeated the Erie Otters, 5-2, with Saginaw outshooting Erie, 30-28 (8-10 in the third). Nolan Lalonde claimed his 50th career OHL win with the victory.
The Spirit will head north to take on the Soo Greyhounds at the GFL Memorial Gardens on Sunday, February 11th. Puck drop is at 2:07 pm.