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Saginaw takes wild one in a shootout over Owen Sound


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The Saginaw Spirit earned the extra point Friday night in Round 8 of the shootout to take the 7-6 win over the Owen Sound Attack inside the Dow Event Center after a wild 65 minutes of hockey.

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The game looked to be over with 54 seconds left on the clock following Josh Bloom’s empty-net goal to put the Spirit up 6-4, but the Attack scored twice seven seconds apart as time ticked off the clock to force overtime and extend the team’s point streak to eight games.

With the win, the Spirit snapped a four-game losing streak.

Colby Barlow scored a pair of goals in the contest to take sole possession of the Attack/Platers franchise record for goals by a true rookie in their 16-year-old season. Barlow’s 23 goals surpass both Bobby Ryan (2003-04) and Daniel Sisca (1999-00) who netted 22 for the Attack and Platers respectively.

Barlow’s performance was overshadowed by Pavel Mintyukov’s five-point night. The draft-eligible Russian defender played a part in five of the Spirit’s six goals on the night.

Ian Phillips finally put the game away in the eighth round of the shootout, beating Attack backup goaltender Corbin Votary who was making his first start since Feb. 21.

Brett Fullerton only allowed one goal in the shootout. The Collingwood Blues goaltender was recently called up to the Spirit and starting in place of the injured Tristan Lennox.

Barlow opened the scoring just over eight minutes into the game on a breakaway, but the lead was short-lived. Less than half a minute later Dean Loukus tied the game. Saginaw took the lead shortly after on a Roberto Mancini marker.

Deni Goure’s 23rd of the season tied the game at 2-2 before the end of the first period.

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In the middle frame, Ethan Burroughs snuck behind the Spirit defence and netted his 22nd of the year to renew an Attack lead, but just 16 seconds later Mintyukov scored to draw the Spirit even once more.

Then, with the Spirit on the power play, the skilled defender Mintyukov found Josh Bloom at the side of the net for a tap-in.

Barlow’s second goal of the contest tied it 4-4, but the Spirit kept up the pressure and Mintyukov found paydirt again to give Saginaw their third lead of the game.

Bloom’s empty-net goal with just 56 seconds on the clock looked like curtains for the Attack, but William Portokalis scored with 19 seconds left and then just seven seconds later Burroughs potted his 23rd of the year for the dramatic finish.

Neither team generated much in overtime before the lengthy shootout determined the winner.

The two squads will reset and do it all again Saturday with puck drop in Saginaw set for 7:05 p.m.

NOTES:

A pair of Saginaw Spirit players are headed to Kitchener for the 2022 CHL/NHL Top Prospects Game. Matyas Sapovaliv is currently ranked No. 13 by NHL Central Scouting while defender Pavel Mintyukov is ranked No. 5. The game will be held at the Kitchener Memorial Auditorium on Wednesday, March 23.

Logan LeSage returned to action Friday night after serving a two-game suspension for abuse of an official.



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