A sure sign of a strong team is one that can stare the winds of adversity straight in the face and not blink. Saginaw Spirit was the epitome of resolve in overcoming an early 3-0 deficit in enemy territory on Tuesday night.
Down by three goals before the match was nine minutes deep and out-shot by a 20-3 margin at one point in the first period, the Spirit did not panic, pout or put up the surrender sign.
Rather, the visitors from Saginaw shrugged off 3-0 and 4-2 margins of deficit to show warrior Spirit and record an improbable 7-5 victory over the Soo Greyhounds and their stunned followers.
The Game 3 victory gives Saginaw a three games to none lead over the Soo in the best-of-seven, Ontario Hockey League, Western Conference semi-final.
Game 4 is slated for GFL Memorial Gardens in the Soo on Thursday night.
Among the heroes of the Saginaw triumph was goalie Ivan Prosvetov. The Russian-born, 19-year old OHL rookie blew off a shaky start to actually keep the Spirit in the game with one big save after another after the Soo had taken the 3-0 lead and was threatening to increase it.
The depth of the Saginaw forward lines was on full display in the Game 3 victory. To be sure, it can be difficult to discern between Saginaw’s first line and its fourth.
While Saginaw forward Owen Tippett put up his third straight three-point game of the series, others such as Ryan McLeod, Brady Gilmour, Blade Jenkins, Cole Coskey, D.J. Busdeker, Cole Perfetti and Soo boys Camaryn Baber and Nick Porco were almost as dangerous in the Game 3 gang-buster of a victory for the Spirit.
As for the Greyhounds, even though they out-shot the Spirit on the night by a 39-26 margin, it was Saginaw that gained full marks for the manner in which it rebounded, did not give up and forced the Soo to the brink of elimination with an all-out exclamation of triumph.