Parekh gives Spirit third straight OT win
Photo: Eric Young
Saginaw, Mich. — The Saginaw Spirit (35-13-0-1) defeated the Owen Sound Attack (24-20-4-2) 5-4 in overtime Friday night. Owen Beck finished with three points (2G, 1A) including the game-tying goal. Rodwin Dionicio had two assists and Zayne Parekh collected three points (2G, 1A) including the OT-winner. Carter George started for the Attack stopping 47 of 52 shots, while Andrew Oke turned away 24 of 28 for his 21st win of the season.
Both teams began the game swinging. At 2:44 into the opening period, Landon Hookey and Braden Haché were cited for fighting following a Haché hit. Hookey was assessed the extra instigator penalty, putting Saginaw a man up for the first time in the game.
Saginaw, despite pelting Owen Sound goaltender Carter George with shots, was unable to break though the top prospect goaltender until 7:45 in the first period.
After intercepting a pass in the defensive zone, Hunter Haight raced up creating a three-on-two Saginaw advantage. Haight crossed south and left the puck for Alex Christopoulos. The Saginaw winger collected the puck and laced a pass far side looking for Michael Misa. The 16-year-old fired a one-timer past George for the 1-0 lead and his team-leading 25th of the year.
The Spirit and Attack came to blows again late into the first following a hit along the boards. This time, Saginaw’s Ethan Hay and Owen Sound’s Jackson Stewart were the dance partners with Stewart receiving the extra minor for instigating. This gave Saginaw their third powerplay of the game which would run over into the second period.
The first period concluded with Saginaw up 1-0 while outshooting the Attack 15 to 6 in the opening frame.
Owen Sound responded with a goal of their own only 3:53 into the second period. Braedyn Rogers began the play by corralling a pass at the blue line sent around the back boards. Rogers looked toward the goal and threw the puck on net hoping for a tip. Landen Hookey successfully tipped the puck down causing it to dribble forward. Cedrick Guidon, waiting by the goal, recognized his opportunity to slide a shot past the sprawling Saginaw goaltender Andrew Oke for the 1-1 tie.
About a minute later, the Attack’s Ethan Burroughs was assessed a two-minute hooking minor, setting up the fourth powerplay opportunity for Saginaw.
The Spirit’s best chance came following a right circle faceoff in the Owen Sound zone. Owen Beck took the draw and won it for a winger who passed the puck to Rodwin Dionicio. The defensemen immediately took the pass and made one of his own to his left, finding Josh Bloom. The Saginaw forward in turn took Dionicio’s pass and quickly found Beck circling near the right circle. After receiving the pass, Beck circled once again and wristed a shot on goal. His shot found a hole in goaltender Carter George and slipped into the net for Beck’s 22nd of the year, 5th with Saginaw, and gave the Spirit a 2-1 lead.
Owen Sound responded back 55 seconds later on their own powerplay goal. On the Rodwin Dionicio slashing penalty, Colby Barlow knocked down a Saginaw clearing attempt and settled the puck on his stick. After a quick pass to Sam Sedley, the Owen Sound defender faked a slapshot hopping to catch Saginaw off guard. Following the fake, Sedley drifted forward into the top slot, fiddled with the puck, then let loose a perfect shot around the screening player in front of Andrew Oke to tie the game at 2-2.
At four-on-four, both teams found quick offensive success. The Attack scored first after a great forechecking shift forced a turnover in the Saginaw zone. Sam Sedley picked up the loose puck spotted Cedrick Guindon near the blue line. An accurate pass tapped the stick of Guindon and set the Attack center up for a perfect chance. With the help of another screen by a fellow teammate, Guindon was able to release a timely shot that Oke never saw, netting his second of the game and 22nd of the year.
Saginaw’s four-on-four goal followed only 1:06 later. Following an Owen Sound giveaway in the offensive zone, Joey Willis raced up the ice and entered the zone with his fellow teammates. Willis streaked toward the goal mouth and attempted to pass across to Zayne Parekh. After a deflection from Rodwin Dionicio, Parekh knocked home the loose puck to tie the game at 3-3
Following another large Saginaw hit, Owen Sound’s Coby Barlow and Saginaw’s Rodwin Dionico landed in the box for fighting, with Barlow picking up the extra minor for instigating.
The end of the second period, The Spirit and Attack were tied 3-3 with shots being 22 to 13 in favor of Saginaw and the Spirit leading 37 to 19 overall.
The third period contained back and forth hockey until Owen Sound took the lead at 9:30 into the period. Ethan Burroughs collected a faceoff and placed a shot on net. His shot was knocked down by Andrew Oke, but deflected home by Sam McCue, putting the Attack up 4-3 with just over 10 minutes to play.
Following another set of off-setting penalties, Saginaw again took advantage of the open ice. After a turnover by Owen Sound in the offensive zone, Zayne Parekh tapped the puck to fellow teammate Owen Beck who skated up the ice looking for the tie. After receiving some push back, and crossing the Attack blue line, Beck let loose a shot that slipped past the glove of George for Beck’s 23rd of the season. Beck’s second of the game helped tie up the score at four, a metric both teams took into the overtime period.
In the OT period, Owen Sound’s Sam Sedley was called for tripping Zayne Parekh on an odd-man opportunity, setting up a four-on-three powerplay for Saginaw. On the ensuing powerplay, Matyas Sapovaliv, Owen Beck, and Zayne Parekh continued to pass the puck around the umbrella until Parekh finally ripped home his 25th of the season to end the game.
Saginaw finished with 52 shots to Owen Sound’s 28 enroute to their 35th win of the season.
Saginaw’s next game is on Saturday, February 10th at the Dow Event Center for a game versus the Erie Otters. Puck drop is set for 7:05 PM.
For media inquiries, contact Dillon Clark at [email protected]