Goalie Ivan Prosvetov stood tall — all 6-foot-5 of him — and Saginaw Spirit blanked the Soo Greyhounds 5-0 tonight to advance to the Ontario Hockey League Western Conference championship series for the first time in franchise history.
The win by Saginaw — complete with 34 saves by the rookie Prosvetov — gave the Spirit the best-of-seven, Western Conference semi-final series four games to two.
In taking the series, Saginaw won two of three road games in the Soo, including tonight’s clincher.
Sault Ste. Marie products Nick Porco and Camaryn Baber combined for tonight’s game winner for Saginaw.
Porco converted a perfect pass from Baber to give Saginaw a 1-0 lead and the Spirit never trailed in the Game 6 victory.
Saginaw will meet the winner of the London Knights-Guelph Storm series for the Western Conference crown. That series is tied 3-3 with the seventh-and-deciding game slated for London on Tuesday night.
The Spirit came into being in 2002 after the North Bay Centennials were sold and relocated to Saginaw by owner Dick Garber. Garber remains a majority owner of the Spirit to this day.